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Pinellas deputies arrest student in East Lake High fire

EAST LAKE — A 15-year-old East Lake High student was arrested Wednesday in connection with a fire at the school this week.

Students and staff had to be evacuated Tuesday afternoon when a fire in a second-floor boy's bathroom started near the end of the school day.

No one was injured in the 1:53 p.m. incident, but the fire and smoke caused damage to an adjacent wall.

Pinellas County Sheriff's Office school resource officers reviewed security cameras and said the footage showed Phillippe Rynders entering the boy's restroom Tuesday afternoon.

Three minutes later, they said, he left the bathroom, a trail of smoke behind him.

Footage captured no one else entering the restroom, and during interviews with Rynders, deputies said they noticed minor burns on his arms.

Rynders was arrested at the school at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday and charged with first degree felony arson of an occupied dwelling.

He was taken to the Pinellas Juvenile Assessment Center.

The investigation remains open.

Pinellas deputies arrest student in East Lake High fire 10/21/10 [Last modified: Thursday, October 21, 2010 1:52pm]
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