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Marriotts Ridge High dismisses classes after restroom fire Friday morning

Andrew Michaels
Marriotts Ridge High dismisses classes after trash can fire Friday morning

Students, faculty and staff at Marriotts Ridge High School were dismissed early Friday morning after a paper towel holder was set on fire and triggered the building's sprinkler system.

Howard schools spokesman John White said the fire was caused by a student and that disciplinary actions will follow, using the school system's Student Code of Conduct. On Monday, Howard police charged the 16-year-old juvenile, of Ellicott City, with arson, malicious burning and disturbing activities at school.

There was little damage by the fire and no one was injured. Students were allowed to return to the school Friday afternoon to retrieve their belongings.

Everyone at the high school was safely evacuated to nearby Mount View Middle School this morning, as Howard County Fire and Rescue arrived. Classes were dismissed for the day at 10:15 a.m. since smoke was throughout the building, White said.

Kristy Gaigalas, a spokeswoman for the fire department, said officials received the call around 7:15 a.m. and found the fire was extinguished by the sprinklers. White said students who drove to school were immediately dismissed, while parents picked up other students at the middle school.

Marriotts Ridge senior Anthony Ellis said he smelled the smoke, which was coming from the men's bathroom near the art room on the first floor.

"There really wasn't much of a fire, just smoke," Ellis said. "We all had to evacuate before school even began."

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