Teen sets himself on fire at Denver-area high school


A Denver-area high school student was listed in critical condition after setting himself on fire in school Monday morning, police said.

At 7:15 a.m. MST, the 16-year-old student entered the Standley Lake High School cafeteria and set himself on fire, Cheri Spottke, an investigator with the Westminster Police Department, told the Los Angeles Times.

A teacher smashed the glass on a nearby fire extinguisher and a janitor used the extinguisher to put the fire out, Spottke said. The student was then taken to a local hospital by ambulance. she said.


Investigators said they believe the incident was a suicide attempt and not a threat against the school, which is about 15 miles northwest of downtown Denver.

Students were evacuated, and the school remains closed Spottke said. Photos from the scene showed students standing outside in snowy weather as they waited to be picked up or bused to another school.

The school was expected to reopen Tuesday for students to come see counselors and pick up their things, but no classes will be held, officials said.

The fire itself caused “minimal” damage to the cafeteria, Spottke said.

“Just a sad, unfortunate deal,” she said.

Neighbor shared this pic of moments after Standley Lake HS fire. Investigators still on scene #CBS4— Rahel Solomon (@RahelCBS4) January 27, 2014

Parents picking up their kids from Standley Lake HS. Fire and emergency vehicles at front & back of school. #9NEWS— 9NEWS Denver (@9NEWS) January 27, 2014