Perrysburg car fires sparked by hooded sweatshirt - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Perrysburg car fires sparked by hooded sweatshirt

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We have a follow up to a story we first brought you last month when three cars went up in flames in the Perrysburg High School parking lot.

Police say they've completed their investigation and will not be filing charges against the student who set the fire. They're calling the whole incident an accident.

The district superintendent calls it stranger than fiction, but school surveillance video backs up the student's story.

A school security camera caught everything that led up to the February 21 blaze. The Perrysburg police report says it shows a junior at the school walking outside before accidentally starting the fire.

The student went out to his vehicle to get his math book. While inside his Jeep, he decided he needed to make a belt because his pants kept falling down. He lit the string of his hooded sweatshirt on fire, trying to remove the string to use as a belt. Then the student told police he placed the hoodie in the back seat. He soon smelled smoke and threw the flaming hoodie outside on the ground and stomped out the fire.

Believing it was extinguished, he went back into school. Several minutes later, the fire sparked up again underneath the car next to the student's Jeep.

Police say it turns out the fuel line on that vehicle ruptured, causing gas to spray onto the fire.

"We're very fortunate that no one was hurt, but in my years of education I've never quite heard a story like that or that kind of an experience happening," says Superintendent Tom Hosler. "It's one of those stranger than fiction type of events."

Perrysburg police won't be filing charges against the high school junior. The district superintendent isn't commenting about any discipline action the school may be taking against the student, but he says the district generally follows the lead of the police department.

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