By Paul Burton

NORTON (CBS) – There have been at least three fires on the Wheaton College campus since Sunday and all were set intentionally. Students are frightened and angry.

“It’s so frustrating. Everyone is fed up with it,” said student Nick Cehelsky.

Students at Wheaton College are frustrated with multiple fires that have taken place inside one of the dorm buildings on the Norton campus.

“Three of the past five nights we’ve been out of dorms from like two in the morning until like seven in the morning, it’s just terrible,” Cehelsky said.

Fire burning in trash can at Wheaton College residence hall (Image credit Joshua Newsome)

School officials say there have been three fires in the last 24 hours set in bathroom trash cans on the second and third floors. A third fire was set in the laundry room.

“This is obviously a very concerning situation, our first priority is to keep students safe,” said Michael Graca, Assistant Vice President of Communications at Wheaton.

Cell phone video shows the fire alarm going off and forcing 100 students to evacuate the McIntire Residence Hall. They were sent to the school cafeteria for hours where they are questioned by police.

“Kids already had bags packed, because they’re prepared for this now, it’s like a normal everyday thing,” said student Dominick Cunhn.

Wheaton College public safety (WBZ-TV)

Finals begin next week and students need time to prepare, but with all these fires many have lost hours and hours of sleep and it’s impacting their health and their ability to study.

“Please stop it’s finals week, no one needs this,” said Marcelle Zaccour Cabal. “Everyone just wants to sleep and everybody just wants to study so please don’t be making people leave their dorms.”

Graca says security has been stepped up as a result of the fires.

Fortunately no one has been injured. Police are searching for the person responsible. There is $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

Paul Burton


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