UPDATED: 4/17/19 1:01 P.M.
On Tuesday, April 16, at approximately 6:25 p.m. the Grand Forks Fire Department was called to Ben Franklin Elementary School for a reported fire in the library. When firefighters arrived it was learned custodial staff on site at the school had discovered a fire in the library and had extinguished the fire. At the time of the fire, there were students and staff in the building however the library was not occupied.
Through a joint investigation which involved the Grand Forks Fire Department, Grand Forks Police Department, and North Dakota State Fire Marshal’s Office it was determined the fire was intentionally set. The investigation identified a suspect who was taken into custody on April 16 at approximately 9:00 p.m.
A thirteen (13) year old male Grand Forks resident has been charged with Arson and Endangerment by Fire. Because of the juvenile status of the suspect, no further information regarding his identity will be released. The extent of damage caused by the fire is unknown and still being evaluated at this time. The school has been closed for the day while clean-up work is being conducted.
At approximately 6:28 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, the Grand Forks Fire Department responded for a fire alarm sounding at Ben Franklin School, located at 1016 S 20th St.
While en route, there was a report of a small fire in the library. Fire crews arrived on scene to find the fire was extinguished upon arrival. Fire crews provided ventilation and evacuation. The estimated cost of damage is undetermined, as the incident is under investigation. There were no injuries during the incident.
The Grand Forks Fire Department responded with 14 personnel on 4 engines, 1 ladder truck, and 1 command vehicle. Fire Marshals from the Grand Forks Department were called to the scene to investigate the cause. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
The Grand Forks Police Department, Altru Ambulance, and State Fire Marshal were on scene assisting.