published Saturday, March 8th, 2014

11-year-old charged in Barger Academy of Fine Arts fire in Brainerd

  • photo
    Children and faculty wait Friday on the front lawn of Barger Academy in Chattanooga after a fire at the school. Officials said that the fire started in the boys' bathroom and appeared to be intentional. An 11-year-old faces charges.
    Photo by Doug Strickland.
    enlarge photo

Barger Academy of Fine Arts in Brainerd was closed Friday following the discovery of a small fire that officials said was deliberately set by an 11-year-old student.

The student was taken into custody and charged.

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

When the firefighters arrived at the school, the evacuation of students and faculty was nearly complete, Battalion Chief Fredrick Blake said.

The fire was in a boys' bathroom. Firefighters quickly put out the blaze.

There were no injuries, officials said.

Although fire damage was confined to the bathroom, there was a lot of smoke throughout the school, which prompted school administrators to cancel classes 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 took the boy to the Juvenile Detention Center.

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

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