Two juveniles involved in Great Falls High fire, 9-year-old charged with arson

A 9-year-old has been charged with arson in connection with the July 30 fire at Great Falls High.

The case has been referred to Youth Court and according to the county attorney’s office it will likely be handled at that level without rising to higher legal action.

Overnight fire at Great Falls High deemed suspicious

A 7-year-old was also involved, but was not charged due to age, according to Lt. Doug Otto of the Great Falls Police Department.

During the Aug. 10 school board meeting, Superintendent Tom Moore said the fire started in an outhouse that tipped onto the school building.

One of the old windows caught fire, Moore said, but there was limited damage inside the school.

He said district staff got into the building quickly with fans to mitigate the smoke and prevent further damage.

Moore said that Jason Brantley, a former school board member, lives nearby and happened to be out watering flowers when he heard noises coming from the school. He walked around the corner, saw the fire and called 911, Moore said.

“If it hadn’t’ been for his alertness…could have had a significant issue, Moore said.