A 17-year-old boy is facing criminal charges for the massive fire that destroyed a Vancouver school more than a year ago.
Vancouver Fire Marshall Heidi Scarpelli said Tuesday that the juvenile is scheduled to be in court to face the charge of second-degree arson on May 21 for the fire at Crestline Elementary School in February 2013.
Prosecutors said while the teen has been ordered to appear in court, he has not been arrested. He will remain in his parents' custody until his arraignment.
Scarpelli did not reveal specific details about what led them to the suspect. Prosecutors said evidence testing was done at the national lab for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Maryland.
The school was ripped apart by a three-alarm fire that erupted early in the morning of Feb. 3, 2013. The first alarm was called in at 3:16 a.m., but more and more crews were called out as the blaze spread quickly.
An investigation into the possibility of arson began shortly after the fire was out. Prosecutors said the teen is not being charged with first-degree arson because no human lives were targeted or in danger, due to it being set in the middle of the night, and there was no opportunity for him to collect insurance from the fire.
Around 500 students were initially split up to different schools within the district after the fire. Evergreen Public Schools then rented and renovated a nearby Hewlett-Packard facility for the 2013-2014 school year.
Work is underway to permanently replace Crestline on the site of the burned-down building. The new Crestline Elementary School is scheduled to open to students at the start of the 2014-2015 school year.
The district released a statement about the case Tuesday saying: "Evergreen Public Schools is pleased to have answers and some closure on the fire that was a huge loss for the students, staff and community of Crestline Elementary. The district has cooperated with investigators during this process, and will do so again as it moves to the prosecution phase."
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