2 arrested after starting fire in school computer lab, police say

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LAYTON — Two men accused of breaking into an elementary school computer lab and starting a fire were arrested Monday morning.

Layton police responded to Layton Elementary around 2:45 a.m. after smoke alarms and motion sensors were activated in the portable classroom at 369 W. Gentile Street, according to Layton City Fire Department public information officer Doug Bitton. When officers arrived, they discovered smoke coming from a broken window and heard people inside the structure.

Officers helped one man out of the building through a window and a second man exited through a door and tried to evade police, Bitton said. Layton police said Coleman Lowell Harris, 19, and David Anthony Teasley, 18, lit fires in several places using items found inside the portable, and by lighting aerosol spray cans to be used like a torch.

Police say the portable classroom likely was chosen at random and the theft was secondary to the vandalism.

"Investigators have indicated that this fire is suspicious and appears to be an intentionally set fire," Bitton said. "This portable is used as a computer lab for the students of this school and if anything positive may come from this fire, it is that the students that would have used this lab this morning are on a winter recess."

Layton City firefighters responded and were able to extinguish the fire inside the portable. Bitton said if several of the computers are rendered damaged, total damages to the computer lab will be estimated at around $10,000.

"The structure of the portable was not damaged, but will take significant refinishing in the interior before use can occur," he said.

Both men were booked into the Davis County Jail for investigation of aggravated arson, criminal mischief, theft, burglary, marijuana possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, and unlawful consumption of alcohol by a minor.

No one was injured in connection with the fire.

Contributing: Pat Reavy, Brittany Copeland

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