(Update: Adding video, more info from fire district; classes to resume Thursday)
Students, staff evacuated safely; classes canceled for the day
SISTERS, Ore. (KTVZ) – A Sisters High School freshman was arrested on arson and other charges Wednesday after she allegedly set fires in two girls’ restrooms, prompting evacuation of the school and causing smoke to billow through areas of the building, authorities said.
Another student alerted school staff at 10:20 a.m. to a fire in a girls’ restroom, Deschutes County sheriff’s Sergeant Jason Wall said. School staff responded and used a fire extinguisher to put out the blaze, located in a trash receptacle.
All staff and students were evacuated safely and there were no reported injuries, Wall said.
A short time later, a second fire was reported in another girls’ restroom at the school on West McKinney Butte Road, Wall said.
“This second fire was active and creating a lot of black smoke, due to the fuel source being a paper product and a plastic toilet paper dispenser,” the sergeant said in a news release.
The school's alarm monitoring company reported to Deschutes County 911 a general fire alarm indicating smoke in the school.
Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District crews arrived to find the smell of smoke in the school's common area and thick, black smoke in two restrooms, Public Information Officer Julie Spor said.
The fire district sent eight firefighters, while the Cloverdale and Black Butte Ranch fire districts sent 10 more to assist. Also on scene along with sheriff's deputies were Oregon State Police and the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal.
The sheriff’s office school resource deputy was provided surveillance footage and was able to identify a female suspect, Wall said.
She was located on the school property and was arrested without incident on two counts of first-degree arson and one count each of first-degree criminal mischief and disorderly conduct. The student was taken to the county Juvenile Detention Center in Bend to be held on the charges.
Fire crews set up large fans to ventilate smoke from the building as others were doing a full search of the school to make sure everyone was out and there were no other fires or issues.
Officials later announced that classes were canceled for the day.
Sisters School District Superintendent told NewsChannel 21 later Wednesday, "We have closed the impacted bathroom and we will have school tomorrow."