Arrests Made in Ensign School Fire

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Arrests have been made in the arson fire that scorched the Ensign Intermediate School gym last November, according to authorities.

A 16-year-old resident of Newport Beach and a 15-year-old resident of Costa Mesa were arrested Monday for felony burglary, vandalism, and recklessly starting a structure fire, a Newport Beach Police Department press release explained.

The juveniles were taken into temporary custody by NBPD personnel and booked into the jail. The two were ultimately released to their parents, police reported.

On Nov. 11, shortly after 4:30 a.m., the Newport Beach police and fire departments were notified of a fire at the school. The first police officer on scene observed that the school’s gym was engulfed in flames. Personnel and apparatus from the NBFD, Orange Fire Department, Orange County Fire Authority, and Garden Grove Fire Department responded to the location and knocked down the main fire within 20 minutes.

No injuries were reported during the incident. Students were not expected on campus, due to the Veterans Day holiday.

In total, 20 firefighters were involved in fighting the blaze, which was contained to the area of the gym, girls’ locker room, and physical education offices.

Fire Department personnel reported that the circumstances of the fire appeared to be suspicious and an arson investigation was initiated. NBPD detectives documented instances of vandalism to the school that were not present when classes were dismissed the previous afternoon. Officers were able to pursue a lead which led to the arrest of the two male juveniles.

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