At least five students from Painted Hills Middle School are under investigation for their involvement in an incident Friday morning in which an “incendiary device” caused the evacuation of the school.
The device was lit in a hallway and caused a fire which was put out by teachers. One person described it as resembling a sparkler in a soda can.
A second device, which was not activated, was also found at the school.
Desert Hot Springs Police Sergeant Jim Henson said the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and Riverside County Fire Department are also assisting with the investigation.
Charges against the students, who are all juveniles, are expected, said Henson. Palm Springs Unified says that the students will face a hearing to determine if they should be expelled for the incident.
A Palm Springs Unified School District official described the damage as being “a small scorch on the carpet.” But they did send an auto dialer message to all parents about the incident. Here is what the District says was sent out on Friday morning: “This morning at approximately 7:41am, we were notified of a small fire outside an unused classroom in the 7th grade hallway. All students were evacuated safely within 2 minutes. All students are safe and unharmed. Two teachers extinguished the fire. The fire department responded quickly. The fire is now being investigated. Students returned to their classes at 8:40am.”
Anyone who has information about this incident is urged to call police at (760) 329-6411. You can submit an anonymous tip to Desert Hot Springs police by clicking here.