Flaming toilet paper leaves Kwalikum students chilled

‘Deliberately set’ fire forces evacuation Tuesday morning

Kwalikum Secondary School students and staff were left out in the cold Tuesday morning after a fire was “deliberately set” in one of the bathrooms.

Qualicum Beach Fire Department chief Darryl Kohse said crews were called to the high school around 9:30 a.m. for an alarm call.

When department members got to the school, Kohse said, they were told there was a fire in the upper bathroom in the school’s older building. Kohse said the fire was deliberately set to the toilet paper and its dispenser.

Kohse said there weren’t any sprinklers in the bathroom as it’s concrete-block bathrooms.

“When we got on scene, we opened up the door and we had smoke in the bathroom which is right near the front entrance to the second floor,” Kohse said.

He said he was told someone had thrown water on the fire before leaving the building, so when the department arrived in the bathroom, there was only some residual fire that needed to be extinguished.

“It was mostly just the toilet paper rolls themselves that were just smouldering and the housing, the plastic housing, which made a really bad smell,” Kohse said.

Kohse said there was some minor damage to the bathroom and smoke damage in the hallways.

Kohse also said nobody was hurt or injured, but added it was a “pretty stupid and dangerous” thing to do.

“Obviously the potential (for injury) was there… especially during this time of year and the (poor) road conditions with having to evacuate the school.”

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