Fire in Bathroom

Haylie Ballou, Staff Writer

On the morning of September 27, the day after Bingham’s fire drill, junior Keaton Anthon set the record for the fastest bathroom break when he left his class for less than a minute, only to return and tell his teacher that the trash can in the boy’s bathroom was burning. He walked into the bathroom to find a fire as tall as himself and another student trying to put it out with water from the sink. The student yelled to Keaton to get help.

Keaton said his first instinct was to get everyone out.

“I stumbled into the hallway, and I was looking for one of those alarms to pull, but I couldn’t find one,” said Keaton.  Instead of finding a fire alarm he hurried back to class to tell Tammy Lambourne about the fire. She told Keaton to run and tell the office while she took another student with her to go check out the bathroom.

Jeremy Butterbaugh was on his way to the bathroom when Mrs. Lambourne told him about the fire and asked if he would go into the bathroom to see how bad it was. According to Mr. Butterbaugh the fire was significantly smaller by the time he entered the bathroom and he was able to put out the remainder with more water from the sink. The bottom of the trash can was completely burned out and the paint on the floor was melted.

All four vice principals heard the report and ran to where the fire had been, but by the time they had gotten there the fire was put out.

The student who was in the bathroom before Keaton was suspected to have started the fire, but even from the description Keaton gave-a male with a gray jacket, long curly hair and pale face-no one could make out a clear profile matching any student. Mrs. Lambourne commented that if the person wasn’t guilty, then she doesn’t understand why he would leave the scene without reporting the fire or going to find help.

While there are cameras in the hallway, they were angled very inconveniently for this situation. The most that the vice principals could see in the video were the backs of people’s heads.

“Between a poor video and a description that could have matched a hundred kids, they couldn’t narrow it down,” said Vice Principal Barbara Gentry.

Mrs. Gentry said that this could have been a very harmful and life threatening situation if the fire were to spread throughout the school. “The real bottom line here is there is somebody who doesn’t care enough about students at this school because that person endangered people.”

There is a hundred dollar reward for anyone who can give information about who started the fire. There aren’t any leads yet, so any information would be helpful to the vice principals. There will be a hefty suspension and possibly some involvement in court for the person who started to fire.