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Eighth grade Perham student arrested for starting fire in school

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A 14-year-old Perham eighth grade student was arrested Wednesday afternoon for allegedly starting a fire in the boy's bathroom.

The student was arrested by the Perham Police Department on a fourth degree arson charge, said Perham Police Chief Jason Hoaby.


The Police Department received a call around 5:10 p.m. Wednesday that a fire had been started in a garbage can at Prairie Wind Middle School. Police identified a 14-year-old male as the suspect, who was then arrested, Hoaby said.

The fire was contained to the garbage can. No accelerant was used.

Hoaby said that, despite rumors, the incident is not related to the April 20 marijuana smoking holiday.

Perham-Dent Superintendent Tamara Uselman said the student will be subject to school disciplinary actions, which could include suspension.

Uselman said the district learned a valuable lesson in how to deal with a commercial fire, even a small one. A fire alarm was not pulled.

"This was a small fire in a trash can, but it needs to be taken seriously," she said.