SACRAMENTO- Police took several youths into custody Sunday night on suspicion of trying to set a school on fire in Del Paso Heights.
The fire was reported around 7:30 p.m. at the North Avenue elementary school and neighbors were credited for not only alerting the fire department, but also leading to the apprehension of the suspected arsonists.
"It appears that the neighbors turned them in," said Battalion Chief Shawn Perry with the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District. "So we had what we call a neighborhood commitment. I believe some of the suspects were relatives of the people who turned them in."
The exact reason why the fire was set was not revealed, but a neighbor and former student at the school was disturbed by the act.
"I went to school here," said the neighbor who didn't want to be identified. "I think it's devastating someone would do that because they don't have anything to do."
The fire broke out next door to the Head Start classroom. Fortunately, it was contained to one building.
"The school is largely unoccupied so it's vulnerable to these types of situations," said Perry.
The school suffered thousands of dollars in damage due to the fire. Charges against the suspects are pending.