ROSEVILLE (CBS13) – Just a day before the ceremony, Roseville High School's graduation stage has been destroyed by a fire allegedly set by two graduating seniors.
William Smith with the Roseville Fire Department tells CBS13 that fire crews were called to Roseville High a little before 1:30 a.m. Thursday. The fire was first spotted by a security guard on campus, and firefighters soon found that the stage that was going to be used for tomorrow's graduation stage was engulfed in flames.
The stage was destroyed, and part of the field – including the custom tiger paw print in the center of the field – was damaged.
Two teens, 18-year-old Roy Jordan Loya and a 17-year-old boy, were arrested by Roseville Police later Thursday morning in connection to the incident. Police say the two are seniors and would have graduated tomorrow.
Officials are firmly saying this fire wasn't a senior prank.
Students arriving to school Thursday morning were shocked and saddened by the destruction.
"I think it's a stupid, mindless act. Why would you do that to someone's school?" Roseville High student Felicia Taeza said.
Smith put damage estimates at $20,000 for the stage and $50,000 for the logo. With the field being made of artificial turf, Smith said, it is not yet known if the whole field will need to be replaced. The turf is worth about $1,000,000.
The graduation ceremony will go on as planned after the school arranged for a new stage to be brought in.
"The cleanup has begun to ensure there are no safety issues for students and staff. The district has made arrangements for a new stage as well as new turf," said Steve Williams with the Roseville Joint Union School District.
Loya and the 17-year-old face charges of arson, felony vandalism and conspiracy.
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