New Information: Reward offered in arson case at Roberts school - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

New Information: Reward offered in arson case at Roberts school

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Roberts (WQOW) - Investigators are hoping a large reward will lead to information about a fire that caused serious damage to the elementary school in Roberts.

The $5,000 reward was announced Wednesday. Arson investigators say someone broke into the Saint Croix central elementary school before the fire broke out early Tuesday morning.

The ATF and the state of Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation- Fire Marshal's office have conducted an investigation and determined that the fire was intentionally set. Damage is estimated at around $1.5 million dollars.

 "This arson was an attack on a public institution that displaced hundreds of students and educators for the remainder of the school year. Destruction of public property by arson is a particularly cowardly and violent crime and I will make sure that all of the ATF resources are made available throughout this investigation," said Scott Sweetow, a Special Agent in Charge with the ATF- St. Paul division in a statement.

The school's six-hundred students have been told to stay home for the rest of the week, and the building is out of commission for the rest of the school year. Wednesday, a plan was finalized to hold classes elsewhere.  There are no specifics yet, but classes will resume on Monday, and the plan is to keep all of the students together. A meeting to update parents is set for Thursday night at the high school in Hammond.

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Roberts (WQOW) - Elementary classes have been canceled for the rest of the week in a western Wisconsin school district.  A fire in the school caused a lot of damage.

The fire happened around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Saint Croix Central Elementary School in Roberts.  The fire is being treated as a possible case of arson.  Firefighters have said it's unrealistic to hold classes in the building for the remainder of the school year.

"(I) started my career here, basically never envisioned seeing this... a number of firemen up on the building, and a number of windows knocked out in front of the buildings... sad day for St. Croix Central," says Principal Steve Sanders.

The superintendent says their goal is to have alternative classroom sites for elementary students in place to begin classes on Monday.  Classes will continue as scheduled at the middle school and high school.

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Roberts (WQOW) - An area school fire is being treated as a possible case of arson.

The fire happened around 4:30 Tuesday morning at the Saint Croix Central Elementary School in Roberts, causing extensive damage to the library and the offices.

The Roberts Police Chief says there are inconsistencies at the scene but would not elaborate. The DCI and St.Croix County Sheriff's Department are investigating. 

There is so much damage, at this point, the school doesn't know for sure where students will finish the year. School Principal, Steve Sanders, is retiring this year and says, "I started my career here, basically never envisioned seeing this. That a number of firemen up on the building, and a number of windows knocked out in front of the buildings. Sad day for St. Croix Central.

Classes were canceled Tuesday.  School leaders met to come up with a plan for the rest of the year. They'll be sending out an alert to parents tonight using the district's mass text, email and calling system.

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ROBERTS, Wis. (AP) -- A fire has canceled classes at an elementary school in St. Croix County, possibly for the remainder of the school year.

St. Croix Central School District Superintendent David Bradley says fire officials told him it was unlikely classes could be held in the building for the remaining 26 days of the school year.

Bradley tells KMSP-TV (http://bit.ly/18apO0p ) administrators are looking for alternative sites around the community of Roberts to hold classes.

Firefighters were dispatched to the elementary school about 4 a.m. Tuesday.

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St. Croix Co. (WQOW) - Classes are canceled Tuesday morning after a fire at a western Wisconsin elementary school.  100 firefighters responded to the blaze.

Our reporter on scene was told the fire was discovered at St. Croix Central Elementary School in Roberts around 4:30 a.m. The superintendent says he saw smoke coming from the library. Roberts Fire Chief Jeff Vogt said 100 firefighters responded.  The fire has been put out. No one was injured.

The Roberts Police Department says the State Division of Criminal Investigation and St. Croix County Sheriff's Department will be investigating.

It's not been determined when classes might resume. Chief Vogt says there is a lot of damage inside the building. St. Croix Central Elementary is home to around 600 students.

Be sure to check back for updates to this developing story.

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