Deputies: 1st-grader's mood ring leads to fire in elementary school bathroom

No injuries reported; crews cleaning classrooms, clearing water from sprinklers

Photos taken inside Rymfire Elementary School (Images courtesy: Flagler County Sheriff's Office)
Photos taken inside Rymfire Elementary School (Images courtesy: Flagler County Sheriff's Office)

PALM COAST, Fla. – A paper towel dispenser was lit on fire Friday afternoon in a restroom inside Building 2 of Rymfire Elementary School when a first-grade student tried to change the color of his mood ring, authorities said.

The fire alarm sounded about 12:30 p.m., and students in the building were evacuated.

A Flagler County School District spokesman said no injuries were reported and the sprinkler system kept the flames to the single bathroom, but the sprinkler system, which was triggered by smoke from the fire, did leave water in several classrooms.

According to the Flagler County Sheriff's Office, the first-grader was issued a civil citation for criminal mischief and released to his mother. Deputies said Rymfire Elementary is discussing disciplinary actions.

“I would like to thank the deputies who responded quickly to the elementary school and assisted the 
school and fire department,” Sheriff Rick Staly said.

Some students were able to return to their classrooms later in the afternoon, but school officials said students in the kindergarten and first-grade classrooms were moved to alternate rooms for the remainder of the day.

The spokesman said the fire was not expected to impact dismissal and all after-school activities would take place as scheduled. 

Crews with the Palm Coast Fire Department, as well as Flagler Schools custodial workers, were in the process of clearing the area of water and getting classrooms cleaned.

The spokesman said crews will work throughout the weekend to make sure the classrooms will be ready for students on Monday.

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