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In suicide attempt student sets himself on fire at high school

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On Monday, Jan. 27, the Westminster Police department reported that a student at a suburban Denver high school set himself on fire in the cafeteria in what police are calling an apparent suicide.

Westminster Police Department spokeswoman Cheri Spottke stated that there weren’t any threats made towards the school or any other students. The student, a 16 year-old boy ignited himself at 7:15 a.m. in the cafeteria of the Standley Lake High School.

Spottke said, “There is no indication there were any threats to any schools.” She went on to explain how a custodian noticed the student and grabbed a fire extinguisher to put out the flames. His quick thinking helped contain the fire to the cafeteria and extinguished it before it could spread.

There were other students in the cafeteria at the time of the suicide attempt however; staff were able to evacuate them before any other injuries were sustained. Extensive smoke damage was present in the cafeteria.

Jefferson County Public Schools spokeswoman Lynn Setzer announced that the school was promptly closed for the day and the student body was sent home. Students who didn’t have a car were bused to a middle school where their parents picked them up.

The suicide attempt was the latest in a string of threats and violence to affect the schools in the area. Last week, Columbine High School was on high security alert after administrators received a series of threatening phone calls.

On Dec. 13, gunman Karl Pierson,17 fatally shot fellow classmate, Claire Davis, 17 at Arapahoe High School in Centennial before turning the gun on himself in the school’s library. Pierson was allegedly targeting a teacher and librarian who disciplined him last year.

Westminster is also where Jessica Ridgeway, 10 who was abducted on her way to school and killed by Austin Sigg in 2012.

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