Arson was the cause of a fire that forced 50 people to evacuate the Ste. Anne Elementary School Thursday evening.
“A toilet paper dispenser was lit on fire in the girl’s washroom,” explains Ste. Anne Fire Chief John Desrochers, “Somebody clearly wanted to cause a disturbance in the school, and they did a good job at that.”
Seine River School Division Superintendent Mike Borgfjord says the incident occurred as the buses were leaving the school. The smoke was initially noticed by a girl who promptly alerted a staff member after seeing it rise out of the washroom. Borgfjord adds that any remaining students and staff in the school were sent to the neighbouring Ste. Anne Emersion school while firefighters took care of the scene.
Desrochers says firefighters were called to the scene at 3:36 PM and were quickly able to extinguish the fire. Crews spent the next two hours ventilating the building.
By 5:30 last night the smoke was clear and the school was able to resume regular evening programming.
“There’s pretty extensive smoke damage within the bathroom," comments Desrochers after assessing the situation, "there will definitely be repair required there."
The investigation of this fire is ongoing.