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March 26, 2013

Three youths accused in Farmdale Elementary class fire in Merced

Three juveniles were arrested on suspicion of starting a fire inside a classroom early Tuesday at Farmdale Elementary School in Merced. Merced police worked with agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to make the arrests.

Three juveniles were arrested on suspicion of starting a fire inside a classroom early Tuesday at Farmdale Elementary School in Merced.

Merced police worked with agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to make the arrests in the suspected arson, according to Lt. Tom Trindad of the Merced Police Department.

A 10-year-old and two 14-year-olds were arrested.

The 10-year-old, who was a student at the school, was released to his parents, according to Trindad. Both of the 14-year-olds were booked into juvenile hall.

No injuries were reported, and Merced Fire Chief Mike McLaughlin said the damage was contained to Classroom 26 at the 100 Winder Ave. school.

Firefighters responded about 2 a.m. after an alarm went off at the school. McLaughlin said the school's fire sprinklers inside the building were able to stop the fire before it could spread.

McLaughlin said the school stayed open, despite the fire.

The Merced Police Department is asking that anyone with information regarding the incident contact Detective Dave Alcaraz at (209) 385-4708 or the department's tip line at (209) 385-4725.

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