LA PINE, OR -- La Pine Fire officials say an alert school district employee first spotted flames on the roof of La Pine Middle School at 5:10 Wednesday morning. The worker called 911, triggering an immediate response from two engine companies, ten firefighters and deputies with the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office.
The flames were knocked down within 15 minutes, while deputies secured the scene and closed the access road to the school. The building was unoccupied and there were no injuries. Significant damage was discovered on the roof of the gymnasium, however there was only limited damage to the interior.
Preliminary investigation determined the fire originated on the roof, and officials are calling it a malicious arson event. Fire investigators, along with the Sheriff's Office, are working the case and school district officials are evaluating the scene.