BAKER — Three juveniles are being arrested in the arson that caused major damage Sunday to Baker High School, said Fire Chief Christopher Hunt.
He said Sunday night the juveniles were being processed at the Baton Rouge Fire Department headquarters and will be transferred to juvenile detention.
The building was unoccupied at the time of the blaze, which started about 2:30 p.m. and was under control within two hours, Hunt said.
Hunt estimated the damage between $300,000 and $400,000.
The fire was confined to Carraway Hall next to the school’s auditorium and tore through the electrical system and water pipes as well as destroying the roof.
Baker High was damaged during the flooding in August 2016, and since then, its students have been attending classes at Baker Middle, while the middle school students occupy the Bakerfield campus. Baker Heights and Bakerfield elementary students share the Baker Heights campus.
As part of the renovation process, the classroom walls of Carraway Hall had been removed, and the building was being used to store books and other classroom materials, which also were damaged by the fire.
A person conducting a survey of the school for recovery efforts reported the fire, and fire trucks arrived within 10 minutes, Hunt said.
Baker, Zachary, Central, Baton Rouge and Brownsfield fire departments all responded, he said.
Baker School District Superintendent Herman Brister, whom fire officials had not allowed to see the inside of the building Sunday night, said the damage will complicate the school district’s work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to obtain funds to restore the school.
Arsonists would not have had a difficult time gaining access to the building because the campus is fairly open, Brister said.
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