March 4, 2006 - Posted at 1:03 p.m. CST
WHEATLEY, Ark. (AP) _ Authorities say a fire that charred a
gymnasium and classrooms at the Palestine-Wheatley Middle School
was started by a 15-year-old eighth grader. Wheatley Police Chief
Dallas Brogdon says the teenager said he wanted to set the fire,
but he didn't explain why. No one was injured in the blaze Monday.
The boy was arrested on an arson charge, then released to his
parents. Authorities did not provide the boy's name because of his
The chief says the teenager crammed sheets of paper and pages
torn out of books into a furnace in a room off the gymnasium and
allowed them to catch fire from the pilot light.
The school's 160 students have not attended classes since the
fire, but are to return to school Monday.