An early morning break-in and fire Friday at the high school in Audubon caused nearly 100-thousand dollars damage. According to Fire Chief John Ballou, the blaze was confined to the wrestling practice room in a new addition to the high school. The wrestling room’s matted floor was destroyed, he says, and smoke from that damaged the gym, the hall, restrooms, and chemicals used to put out the fire damaged some others areas, plus there are broken windows. Ballou says somebody broke windows on the east side of the building to get in, and the fire department got the call at 2:35 Friday morning. Ballou says the preliminary investigating indicated the fire was set using a flammable substance, possibly something taken from the storage room of the schools’ chemistry lab. Ballou says whoever broke in seemed to know right where the lab was, and went directly to it. He says the accelerant was some flammable liquid — they’re having it analyzed. Ballou says the same room was broken into before this week‘s incident, and he fears it may not be the last time they attempt to destroy the school‘s property. Two or 3 weeks ago someone broke into the lab, through the same window. He says that time they also set a small fire, also using accelerant. He says the vandal started small but is getting more bold. While the break-ins may be done for fun or on impulse, Ballou says there are long-term repercussions for the future of the school and the community. Ballou says the mess is costing taxpayers about 100-thousand dollars, an expense that’ll probably postpone a plan to replace the floor of the gym and do some planned roof repairs. He says anyone with information about who may have started the fire can call the Arson Hotline at 1-800-532-1459. You can give your tip, remain anonymous, and be eligible for a reward of up to 15-thousand dollars.
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