UPDATE: Merritt RCMP recommending arson charge after suspicious fire at high school

Merritt Secondary School
Image Credit: Google Maps

MERRITT - A small fire at Merritt Secondary School that led to an evacuation and significant water damage this week is being called suspicious.

Crews responded to a fire that started in a small office on the school’s main floor around 10 a.m., Monday, Feb. 22, Merritt Fire Chief David Tomkinson says.

“Prior to our arrival the sprinkler activated (in the room.) There was quite a bit of water damage as a result,” he says. “The fire was deemed suspicious so RCMP are investigating."

Tomkinson says students and staff evacuated the building after the blaze triggered the school’s fire alarm.

Merritt RCMP Sgt. Norm Flemming says the fire started after a cardboard box was lit on fire in the office. 

"We do have a suspect identified, a male youth," Flemming says. "We are forwarding the investigation to Crown and recommending a charge."

To contact a reporter for this story, email Glynn Brothen at gbrothen@infonews.ca or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

-This story was updated at 4:04 p.m., Feb. 24, 2016, to include information obtained from an interview with Merritt RCMP. 

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