No criminal charges in Oconto school fire

OCONTO – No criminal charges will be filed in connection with an April 16 fire at Oconto High School, according to District Attorney Ed Burke.

A 16-year-old student started the fire by tossing a cigarette into a bathroom garbage can, investigators determined. It caused $5 million in damage and forced classes to be held at the middle school for several weeks.

“We concluded we couldn’t prove any crime beyond a reasonable doubt,” Burke told FOX 11 Tuesday.

Police determined the fire was unintentional. Wisconsin’s arson law, statue 943.02(1)(a), says someone is guilty of arson if they “By means of fire, intentionally damages any building of another without the other’s consent.”

Because the suspect was 16 years old at the time of the fire, any charges would have been filed in juvenile court.

Additionally, no municipal citations were issued, according to Police Chief Dan Ault.

 

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