Officials: Fires Purposely Set in Wheaton College Bathrooms

Authorities say fires were intentionally set in two bathrooms at a Wheaton College residence hall in Massachusetts, prompting the evacuation of about 100 students.

Officials said the fires were set around 6 a.m. Sunday in second-and-third-floor bathrooms at the McIntire Residence Hall. They say investigators have determined the fires were purposely set.

"While heat and smoke damage were not huge, every fire starts small and has the ability to claim a life," Norton Fire Chief Paul K. Schleicher said. "I am proud that the students evacuated so quickly and responded appropriately to the fire alarm."

State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey said its fortunate no one was hurt.

Wheaton College President Dennis Hanno said the school has increased campus patrols and is urging students and staff to be on the lookout and report any suspicious activity.

Authorities are asking anyone with information to contact authorities.

People with information can confidentially call campus police or the Arson Hotline. The Arson Hotline is part of a program that provides up to $5,000 for information that solves a case and is 1-800-682-9229.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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