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Cause of Oconto High School Fire Released

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Photo: Video by nbc26.com

Cause of Oconto High School Fire Released

By Alex Hagan. CREATED Apr 24, 2014

OCONTO, Wis. -- The cause of a fire that devastated Oconto High School is no longer a mystery. 

Investigators calling it an accident. The school had to be evacuated on April 16th after the fire started in the boys bathroom spreading throughout the building.

It was a hand rolled cigarette belonging to a 16 year old student. That caused five million dollars in damage. Damage that has restoration crews working hard to get three hundred students back into their school.

It took a week to investigate now Oconto Police have found the cause thanks in part to school video and interviews a 16 year old student smoking in this bathroom then leaving it close to a toilet paper dispenser.

"A toilet paper roll that looks like what caused the main source of heat," says Fire Chief Jack Mlnarik

But police don't believe it was intentionally set.
 
Superintendent Sara Croney won't comment on any consequences for the student just thankful nobody is hurt. 
 
As for fixing and cleaning up the school.
 
Things are going rather well. Neal Lengacher project manager has 300 workers fixing ceilings, upgrading wires and cleaning out the building. Saving crucial school items.
 
"Running 24/7 and the night shift is about 70 people right now," says Project Manager Neal Lengacher.
 
Superintendent Croney says at an upcoming school board meeting they will discuss a possible referendum for upgrades at the high school.