Three Montana teenagers face criminal charges after a fire at Helena High School caused as much as $1 million in damage.
The Helena Independent Record reports that two girls and one boy, all 13, appeared in court Wednesday after being arrested in connection with the Monday night fire. All of the teens have been students at Helena Middle School. None attends Helena High.
Classes were canceled Tuesday and Wednesday because of the damage to the facility, but students returned to school Thursday morning.
Police say the three had been drinking and allegedly broke into the school. A surveillance video shows one of the girls and the boy entering a second-floor janitors' closet; about a minute later smoke started to billow from the area.
After starting that fire, the same girl, along with the boy, went to another wing of the school and entered a classroom, police say. On video, they are seen lighting posters on fire.
Shortly after that, one of the seven janitors working in the building noticed the smoke as alarms sounded and called 911.
In addition to smoke damage, the fire caused a pipe to burst and flooded the school's upstairs math wing.
At the court hearing, Judge Kathy Seeley said enough evidence was presented for juvenile delinquency petitions based on felony charges of burglary for all three and arson for two of them. Seeley ordered the teens to remain in custody at the juvenile detention center..
Video from KXLH-TV: