Student(s) ignite fire at Monger Elementary School

NOW: Student(s) ignite fire at Monger Elementary School

ELKHART, Ind.-- Parents are on high alert after a student or students at Monger Elementary School in Elkhart set a fire in a bathroom prompting an evacuation Monday.

“The whole school is blocked down and I was like, what?"

“It's scary!”

“For me to get that call it was kind of concerning.”

These are the first thoughts from parents of Monger Elementary students when they were notified that their kids were evacuated because a student or students set fire to a paper towel dispenser inside the gymnasium bathroom Monday morning.

“It’s kind of scary to know that there are fifth graders and under that can get it with lighters, matches or whatever," said Parent Emily Buck. 

According to Elkhart Police Department, per protocol, students stood across the street for about an hour while the Elkhart Fire Department worked to clear out any smoke.

A sight that made a few parents think of the worst case scenario.

“Somebody went into the school or something but thank God it wasn’t that," said Parent Jonarys Perez.

“it’s more concerning because you know there's been shooting and stuff like that. My first grader was kind of scared," said Delma Zamora.

Elkhart Community Schools says the fire was quickly extinguished and there were no injuries.

In a statement to ABC 57, the school corporation states:

Earlier today, Monger students safely evacuated the building within one minute when a fire alarm sounded. Following school protocol, students were evacuated to Zion Missionary Church around 9:30am. The fire was quickly extinguished and there were no injuries. Students began returning to the school around 10:30am when given the approval by the Elkhart Fire Department.

Parents/guardians of Monger students were called and informed of the situation. 

An investigation by the Elkhart Fire Department indicates the fire originated in a bathroom near the gym after a paper towel dispenser was set on fire. The school is taking appropriate action with any student(s) who were involved.

No specifics were mentioned, but according to the Elkhart Community Schools Disciplinary Code, vandalism, causing, or attempting to cause, damage to school or private property is ground for suspensions and even expulsion.

“They shouldn’t have brought that to school in the first place.”

“You have to learn about the consequences if you want to do stuff like that.”

“They shouldn’t be doing stuff like that its crazy. It could’ve went beyond just a small trash can fire.”

Elkhart Community Schools hasn’t responded with what disciplinary actions will be taken against the students.

The Elkhart Fire Department tells ABC57 the fire is still under investigation.

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