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Three juveniles identified as suspects in Lake Park high school fire

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Photos courtesy of Lake Park Fire Department2 / 7
Photos courtesy of Lake Park Fire Department3 / 7
Photos courtesy of Lake Park Fire Department4 / 7
Photos courtesy of Lake Park Fire Department5 / 7
Photos courtesy of Lake Park Fire Department6 / 7
Photos courtesy of Lake Park Fire Department7 / 7

Three juveniles have been identified as suspects in fires set Saturday at the former Lake Park-Audubon High School, the Lake Park Police Department announced Monday, March 26.

A citizen tip led police to a 13-year-old boy from Audubon and two 14-year-old boys from Lake Park, who admitted to lighting fires in the gymnasium and to prior break-ins and vandalism at the building, police reported. Reports in the case have been forwarded to the Becker County Attorney’s Office for consideration of charges.

About 11:17 a.m. Saturday, March 24, the Becker County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a person passing by the unoccupied school at 429 Lake St. reporting an open door to the gymnasium and the building full of smoke, police reported.

Firefighters from Lake Park, Audubon and Hawley quickly extinguished several active fires in the gym, the report said. Fire crews then spent several hours at the scene checking for hot spots and clearing the building of smoke.

The Minnesota State Fire Marshal was asked to assist in the fire investigation, and the fires are tentatively being considered arson, the report said.

No damage estimates are available, but there was no structural damage to the building, the report said.

The building is owned Bob Bristlin and Son Construction of Detroit Lakes, and is slated for development into housing units.

Anyone with information about Saturday’s fire or prior damage to the building is asked to contact Lake Park police at (218) 238-6922.

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