Student Faces Charges for Starting Fire in Locker Room

Students at JP Taravella High School in Coral Springs are evacuated on Tuesday after a student caused a small fire in the locker room

Students at JP Taravella High School in Coral Springs are evacuated on Tuesday after a student caused a small fire in the locker room. – Photo from Twitter

Coral Springs Police on the scene - Photo from Twitter

Coral Springs Police on the scene – Photo from Twitter

By: Sharon Aron Baron

Criminal charges will be filed against a high school senior who started a small fire at JP Taravella High School on Tuesday morning.

The student, age 17, whose name cannot be released because he is a juvenile, was in the mens locker room at the school when he poured nail polish remover on the floor in front of two lockers. The bottle was labeled “Extremely Flammable: Keep from Flames.” He then used a lighter to light the liquid on fire, which police say resulted in a three-feet high fire which carried up the lockers. The student fled the locker room and campus.

Substitute teacher Bryan Lancey came over and picked up the bottle, which was still on fire and extinguished it with water in the locker room showers. School Coach Jason Stein also saw the flames still on the ground and used his shoe to stomp it out.

The fire left black marks to the tile and lockers which Principal Shawn Cerra estimates it will cost $100 to have a crew stay after hours and clean.

As a result of the fire, the school was evacuated.

The student, from Margate, was taken into custody at his residence by an officer in the presence of his step-father. He was then transported to Coral Springs Police and admitted to using a lighter that he had on him to light the liquid from the bottle which was on the floor. In addition, he also acknowledged that there were other students inside the locker room.

Principal Cerra advised police that they wished to pursue criminal charges.

The student faces charges of arson and criminal mischief.

About Sharon Aron Baron

Sharon Aron Baron Sharon Aron Baron is the Editor of Talk Media and writer for Coral Springs Talk. CST was created in 2012 to provide News, Views and Entertainment for the residents of Coral Springs, Parkland and the rest of South Florida.


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  • Howard Melamed

    There is nothing more important than the safety of our children and they need to be safe at schools in our city. Keep in mind that while our police were scrambling to handle this call, other areas of the city were not being properly covered.

    My solution : HIRE MORE OFFICERS! WE NEED MORE SRO’s at every school. 2 per high school. 2 per middle school and one at every elementary school. We get back 50% of their salary from Broward County. We need to do this right now. Let’s not even wait for the elections.

    • Not my problem

      Then you can pay for it with your own money

      • Ira

        Really? And he should personally pay for other police protection in the city also?

        Let me guess:

        You didn’t think your post through, or you were drinking.

      • Howard Melamed

        I do. That is a good use of taxpayer money.

    • buffalocalzone

      do not need Officers in the schools, simply need to Arm trained and certified teachers and problem solved

      • Ira


        Teachers were already in the school. How would arming them help in this situation?

        I am amazed at how fucking stupid so man people in this city are. We should be ASHAMED!

      • Howard Melamed

        The teachers do enough, and shouldn’t have to go through army training. I remember my math teacher in school and I doubt she would make a good security officers.

    • barb

      You do realize there are security guards at the high schools as well as a SRO, maybe the problem is they aren’t doing their jobs. Maybe you should talk to a teacher or two before making such a blanket statement.

      • Howard Melamed

        you would rather that the city pull all of the SRO’s out of the schools? My thought is that the SRO’s are there mainly to protect the students from the bad guys outside the school.

  • barb

    Even if there were more SRO’s the police still would have been called…one does not eliminate the other. I would be for paying for them if they were our kids in the schools, the fact is that they aren’t. Taravella has become more Tamarac and Sunrise kids, Coral Springs High is Coconut Creek and Margate kids just to name two. Why should Coral Springs pay for SRO’s when there is a strong majority of kids from other towns.

    • Tamarac resident

      Try looking at the boundaries 90% is Coral Springs. Don’t blame Tamarac or Sunrise. I have 2 kids that graduated from JPT this school has been going down hill for years.

      • Former student

        I attended JP Taravella High School a few years, it was a highly diverse population then and its been getting worse each time the boundaries are widened. Additions from Sunrise and Lauderhill are the problem, they were my years they’re and are continuing to be. Principle Cerra does not deserve this, those boundaries need to be readjusted and those students need to be removed.

      • barb

        Can’t just make up numbers that aren’t true and make that an argument.
        My kids went there also and I agree it has been going down since the school board changed how children could be reassigned to schools. It no longer makes a difference what your boundary is, if you come up with any reason why you should go to a different school you get switched. If your school is a crappy school you get to choose another school and it goes on and on.

    • Ira

      Your argument is brilliant, Barb:

      Why protect the kids who are from other cities?

      Do you realize what a total moron you are?

      • barb

        Not what I said. I said I didn’t want to pay for it. Why should we pay for it all if other cities also send their kids. We already are paying school taxes based on our property values which average more than the other cities now you want us to in addition pay for SRO’s for other kids also. We pay taxes for our police and thats who should be called when problems occur. If you want safer schools go after the school board who keeps widening the boundaries, lets get back neighborhood schools.

        • Ira

          Who the fuck cares where any kid is from. If their ass finds itself it Coral Springs, they deserve protection.

          You are challenged on a lot of levels, it seems.

          But have you ever been officially diagnosed as retarded? You may want to check it out, because that makes you eligible for SSI.

          • barb

            Wow, you are very full of yourself aren’t you? Protect them all you want but put the cost where it should be.

          • Ira

            You really are an ignorant, uncaring fool, aren’t you?

            Who the hell raised you?