SVHS fire eyed as arson
There were no injuries when an unknown someone lit a roll of toilet paper on fire in a boys restroom in the H-wing at Sonoma Valley High School Thursday afternoon.
The 1 p.m. blaze produced plenty of smoke, but not much damage. A plastic toilet paper dispenser that also caught fire contributed to the smoke.
Most students didn't cease eating their lunch or chatting with friends, assuming someone had pulled the alarm as a prank. These beliefs were quickly dispelled when clouds of black smoke came billowing out of the H-wing boys bathroom.
Suddenly, students were evacuated onto the back field by teachers and other school personnel. Students milled about, some speculating on what had really occurred while others simply relished the fact that they weren't in class.
Dominic and Gianna Sanfilippo, both freshmen, were eating lunch in the H-wing when they saw the smoke and promptly evacuated. "It was really noticeable because it was dark black," said Dominic Sanfilippo.
"It also smelled really strong." Gianna Sanfilippo added, "Most of the teachers seemed kind of confused at first when they came down the stairs ... they didn't seem worried."
Junior Peter Gray was in the bathroom when he "saw something fly over my shoulder, bounce off the wall and into a stall. I noticed the smoke a few seconds later and left."
Fire personnel from Sonoma Valley Fire and Rescue Authority put the fire out with a fire extinguisher.
"It's an arson," said Division Chief Bob Norrbom. "There was lots of smoke and it looked worse than it was."
The fire was reported at 1:06 p.m. and two engines from Sonoma Valley were on scene at 1:09 and the fire was under control at 1:13 p.m.
Norrbom said the fire department doesn't have any suspect information and urges anyone with any information to call the fire department at 996-2102.