published Friday, March 7th, 2014

Barger Academy closed for day by small fire

  • photo
    Students and facility assemble outside Barger Academy of Fine Arts in Brainerd after the discovery of a small fire.
    Photo by Ed Bourn

Barger Academy of Fine Arts in Brainerd was closed today after discovery of a small fire that officials said was deliberately set by an 11-year-old student who was taken into custody and charged.

The Chattanooga Fire Department reported it received an alarm late in the morning and dispatched six fire companies to the school at 4808 Brainerd Road.

When the first firefighters arrived on the scene, the evacuation of students and facility was nearly completed, Battalion Chief Fredrick Blake said.

The fire was located in a boy's bathroom and was extinguished by firefighters. There were no injuries, officials said.

Although fire damage was confined to the bathroom, there was a lot of smoke throughout the school and classes were cancelled for the rest of the day.

Lt. Henry McElvain with the fire investigation division said the boy taken into custody was charged with aggravated arson. McElvain transported the suspect to the Juvenile Detention Center for processing.

The fire department said damages totaled about $10,000.

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