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Officials: 8-year-old set fire in school bathroom
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Officials said an 8-year-old student brought a lighter from home and set a paper towel holder on fire Tuesday morning in a bathroom at Mount Vernon Exploratory School.

No injuries were reported and damage was estimated at less than $500. The fire was reported around 7:30 a.m., according to Zachary Brackett, Hall County Fire Services spokesman.

Katherine Whitmire, physical education teacher at the school, used a fire extinguisher to put out the blaze before firefighters arrived on the scene, according to reports from Brackett and a statement released by Hall County Schools.

“She responded quickly, followed protocol by grabbing a nearby fire extinguisher, and put out the fire, averting a potential disaster,” Superintendent Will Schofield said of Whitmire in the school district statement.

“The school administration has contacted the parents and will continue with the investigation in cooperation with Hall County Fire Services and the Hall County Sheriff’s Office,” the school district statement added. “Disciplinary actions from the school district will be forthcoming, but as with all such actions, they will be kept private per adopted guidelines on student privacy.”

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