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Officials say Sanborn Regional fire likely arson

By Jason Schreiber
Union Leader Correspondent

February 06. 2014 7:43PM
Firefighters responded to Sanborn Regional High School in Kingston Thursday morning for a fire in a restroom. (Jason Schreiber/Union Leader Correspondent)

KINGSTON — A fire inside the boys’ restroom on the second floor of Sanborn Regional High School Thursday was likely set, and the state Fire Marshal’s Office has been called in to help investigate, Fire Chief Bill Seaman said.

The fire was reported around 11 a.m. in a bathroom stall. Seaman said the fire appears to have started in the area of the toilet paper dispenser.

The fire was extinguished by a staff member before firefighters arrived, Superintendent Brian Blake said.

“Based on my initial investigation, it appears the fire was intentionally set. There is no indication that it was an accident. The Kingston police are working on trying to locate any evidence of anybody involved,” Seaman said.

While the blaze caused little structural damage, Seaman said there was smoke and dry chemical powder from the extinguisher throughout the second floor.

The smoke forced students and school personnel to evacuate the building, Blake said.

Seaman said firefighters found elevated carbon-monoxide levels on the first and second floors, but fans were used to improve the air quality.

Students and school employees were evaluated by medical personnel as a precaution. Two students and a firefighter experienced symptoms of smoke inhalation and were treated at the scene, Seaman said.

“All staff, faculty and students are safe and accounted for,” he said.

They were bused to the nearby Swasey Gymnasium at the old high school and were dismissed at 1 p.m.

Parents were notified of the fire through an automated phone message sent out shortly after the fire was reported, Blake said.

Firefighters from Fremont and Newton assisted Kingston fire crews. East Kingston Ambulance was also called in to assist Kingston emergency medical personnel.

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