LAKEWOOD - Students were evacuated from Bear Creek High School on Tuesday morning and classes were cancelled after a small fire broke out in the school's gymnasium.
West Metro Fire says they got the report at 11:50 a.m. and could see smoke from three blocks away while responding to the blaze. Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze a short time later.
Jefferson County School District officials say the students were safely evacuated. No injuries were reported, although one girl was taken to the hospital for an asthma attack. Officials say it was not believed to have been caused by the fire.
The American Red Cross Mile High Chapter says it has sent its mobile feeding vehicle to provide food and drinks to the 50 firefighters on scene.
Bear Creek High School is located at Hampden and Kipling in Lakewood.
LAKEWOOD - Two teenage boys have been arrested days after a gymnasium fire forced the closure of a high school.
The Lakewood Police Department and West Metro Fire investigators have arrested two 15-year-old boys who they suspect of starting the fire at Bear Creek High School on Tuesday.
Both boys attend the school and live in Lakewood. They each face felony charges of first and second-degree arson.
One was arrested Wednesday night and the second was arrested Thursday morning. Both are being held at the Jefferson County Jail.
Shortly before noon on Tuesday the fire alarm in Bear Creek sounded. Faculty and staff members assisted in evacuating the entire school.
Firefighters spent 25 minutes putting out the fire which investigators say started when combustible materials in the gym caught fire.
Smoke and fire damage to the building was extensive and classes had to be cancelled for the remainder of the week. The state-mandated ACT tests, which were scheduled for Wednesday, were held at nearby Green Mountain High School.
Investigators say they interviewed both of the students who were arrested prior to taking them into custody. They made the arrest after talking to about a dozen students at the school.
"The way that we look at an arson fire is an intentionally set fire," said Cindy Matthews with West Metro Fire Rescue. "Now, does that mean you set out to burn the school down? No, it means that you knowingly held a lighter that lit something on fire. That is arson when it ends up burning or causing destruction."
"A lot of people don't realize that just because you don't intend to burn something down, it doesn't mean you can't be charged with a crime of arson," said Matthews.
The Jefferson County School District says they are still meeting to decide when classes at the school will resume.
LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- A 15-year-old student at Bear Creek High School was charged Tuesday with starting the fire in the small gym that caused $2.5 million damage.
The student, who has not been identified because of his age, was charged with first-degree arson, second-degree arson, fourth-degree arson and criminal mischief, said district attorney spokeswoman Pam Russell. He was charged as a juvenile.
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The other 15-year-old student who was also questioned has not been charged at this time, Russell said. The district attorney's office is waiting for more information from the investigation before he determines what, if any, charges will be filed against the second student.