Foreman high school student accused of starting fire at school

CHICAGO (STMW) - A Foreman College and Career Academy student accused of starting a fire in the building faces an aggravated arson charge, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

There were 600 students and 125 faculty members at the school at the time of the fire Monday, and some classes had to be temporarily relocated, prosecutors said.

“You are absolutely lucky no one was hurt,” Cook County Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil told 18-year-old Darian Davis. “This isn’t a joke.”

Davis’ bail was set at $250,000 at a court hearing Wednesday.

Damage repairs and clean-up on the second floor of the building, 3235 N. LeClaire, will cost $60,000, Assistant State’s Attorney Lorraine Scaduto said.

Davis, who came to school late Monday and was marked tardy, was seen with another person leaving the third-floor lunchroom about 11:45 a.m., Scaduto said.

While the other person went back to the cafeteria, Davis was seen going to the second floor and into a hallway that is restricted for students, Scaduto said.

Davis was seen on camera with his right hand in his pocket, Scaduto said.

Forty seconds later, Davis appears on the stairwell looking around before leaving. The fire alarm was activated shortly after and students were forced to evacuate, Scaduto said.

Davis allegedly started the fire in a blue recycling bin full of paper.

Scaduto said the dean of the school told her students returned to the building on Wednesday.

But the displaced students had to be moved to classes elsewhere for a brief period this week.

According to the school’s website, some students took buses to Steinmetz and others were taking classes in mobile units on Tuesday.

Afterschool programming was also canceled Tuesday.

Davis, a senior, has been barred from the school, Scaduto said. He lives on the 5300 block of West Crystal.

Two years ago, Davis was arrested for reckless conduct for pulling a fire alarm at the school, Scaduto said. He was released to his parents but never convicted.