Janitor, student set school on fire

Janitor, student set school on fire

Police suspect the arsonists were trying to take revenge on the principal

Aaron Kalman is a former writer and breaking news editor for the Times of Israel

An assistant janitor and a former student of a Kiryat Gat school were charged Sunday with setting fire to school facilities days before the start of the school year.

The 29-year-old custodian worker and his 16-year-old accomplice are suspected of trying to take revenge on the principal of the school for what they saw as poor treatment, state prosecutors said in a press release on Sunday.

The teenager was helping the handyman with maintenance work on the school’s grounds during the summer break when the two apparently decided to set the school on fire. The older man was resentful of his treatment at work, and the minor held a grudge against the principal for having accused him of stealing school property, the police said.

According to the indictment, during the last week of August the two came to the school with gasoline and lighters. They set the school’s storage house’s windows and set the place ablaze and then did the same to the secretary’s office.

Prosecutors said damage caused by the arson was estimated at NIS 500,000, or $125,000. The 16-year-old’s hand was burnt during the incident.

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