NORTON — A reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for intentionally setting two bathrooms on fire at Wheaton College on Sunday morning.
State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey, Norton Fire Chief Paul J. Schleicher, Wheaton College President Dennis M. Hann, and Wheaton College Director of Public Safety Christopher Santiago issued a joint statement asking for the school community’s help in solving the case.
“It is fortunate that no one was hurt as early Sunday morning is a time most students are sleeping,” Ostroskey said.
The fires were discovered at around 6 a.m. on Sunday in the McIntire Residence Hall. About 100 students were safely evacuated from the building and authorities determined that fires were set in second-floor and third-floor bathrooms.
“While heat and smoke damage were not huge, every fire starts small and has the ability to claim a life,” Schleicher said. “I am proud that the students evacuated so quickly and responded appropriately to the fire alarm.”
Hanno said campus patrols have been increased as a result of the incident and asked all students to be on the lookout for suspicious activity.
Anyone with information about these fires is asked to come forward confidentially, 24 hours a day, and call the Arson Hotline at 1-800-682-9229 or Wheaton College Campus Police at 508-286-8213.
The fires are being jointly investigated by the Norton Fire Department and state police assigned to the Office of the State Fire Marshal.