Students dismissed after fire 'intentionally' started in Cedar Shoals High bathroom

A burned bathroom stall at Cedar Shoals High School on Nov. 16, 2022. (Provided by Athens-Clarke County)

Students at an Athens-area high school were sent home Wednesday after a fire in one of the bathrooms triggered sprinklers and filled the building with smoke.

A message on the Cedar Shoals High School website said the fire was "intentionally" set in a student bathroom in the school's main building.

Athens-Clarke County officials said no one was injured. Athens-Clarke County Fire & Emergency Services said firefighters went to the school at around 9:21 a.m. Someone told fire crews they saw "black water coming out on the floor and into the hallway."

Crews said there was so much smoke in the building when they arrived that there was no visibility. Firefighters saw a toilet paper dispenser that had been set on fire inside one of the bathroom stalls.

The fire activated sprinklers, which extinguished most of the fire by the time crews arrived. Firefighters used a water can to put out the rest. 

The school's main building was evacuated. Students gathered in the gymnasium and fine arts building, which weren't affected by the fire. 

The school dismissed classes early for virtual learning and buses began to pick up students at around 10:45 a.m. Parents were permitted to check out students.

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