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Police: Boy, 15, Set Cliffside Park High School Auditorium Fire

Outside CPHS.
Outside CPHS. Photo Credit: Matthew Speiser

CLIFFSIDE PARK, N.J. -- A 15-year-old student started an auditorium closet fire that cleared Cliffside Park High School on Friday, Police Chief Richard Gaito told Daily Voice on Tuesday.

The boy was taken in to custody on juvenile complaints accusing him of arson, causing or risking widespread injury or damage and tampering with evidence, Gaito said.

No one was injured in the blaze, with caused significant damage.

Taking no chances of a possible trap, Gaito had his officers escort CPHS students to a local grammar school while firefighters doused the fire. The blaze was declared under control less than a half hour after the call came in at 12:10 p.m.

A police official from a nearby town who spoke on condition of anonymity said all precautions must be taken in such instances.

"There have been active shooter situations where they tried to lure people in or out," he said. "First responders are always ready for anything."

Police and firefighters from neighboring towns assisted.

Borough detectives conducted an investigation assisted by the Bergen County Prosecutor's Arson Investigation Unit and the Bergen County Sheriff's Bureau of Criminal Identification, Gaito said.

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