Magazine article American Libraries

Teens Arrested in California School Library Arson

Magazine article American Libraries

Teens Arrested in California School Library Arson

Article excerpt

Three young adults suspected of setting fires that burned down the San Lorenzo Valley High School library in Felton, California, were arrested September 19. The teens told investigators they had been drinking at a party before they went to the school campus and started lighting fires, according to the September 21 Santa Cruz Sentinel. "They said they were burning posters and paper decorations in the hallways all the way from the junior high school to the high school," said Deputy Sheriff Steve Christensen.

The blaze started around 2:30 on the morning of September 16 when a fire was set in recycling bins against the outside wall of the library. The September 19 Sentinel reported that the library walls were still standing but the fire destroyed 11,000 books, library furniture, and about 25 iMac computers. "From floor to ceiling everything is melted, everything is burned," said Principal Craig Lewis.

School officials estimated the damage at more than $2 million and that rebuilding efforts could take two years or more. …

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