School blaze arrest

A Yass teenager has been arrested and charged over the weekend with setting alight Yass High School’s canteen and student toilet block early last year.

The 18-year-old has been granted conditional bail to appear before Yass Children’s Court in February.

He was 16 at the time and will not be named for legal reasons.

Detectives said the arrest was not related to the $5 million fire which burnt down the school’s industrial arts, home science and computing centres two weeks ago.

Investigations for that blaze were still ongoing and police did not yet know if it was deliberately lit.

Strike Force Severn, comprising officers from Goulburn Local Area Command and investigators from Fire and Rescue NSW, was established to examine the suspicious January 29 2011 fire.

Emergency services had been called to the blaze at 5.30am and found one of the brick buildings well alight.

The lack of student toilets and the presence of asbestos in the burnt out section of the site meant the school had to close down for the start of a new school year. Classes were distributed to several centres around town.

"Following an exhaustive investigation, an 18-year-old man was arrested by strike force detectives at Goulburn police station yesterday," police said in a statement on Saturday.

He was charged with malicious damage by fire.

Meanwhile, classes continue to be diverted after the devastating fire which razed a memorial kitchen at the school on November 24 as well as the industrial arts and home science buildings.

Yass detectives urge anyone who believes they might have information, no matter how insignificant, to contact the police station or Crime Stoppers.

Visit our website to revisit photos of the 2011 fire.

The Yass High School canteen following the fire in January last year.

The Yass High School canteen following the fire in January last year.


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