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.