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updated: 9/7/2012 4:10 PM

Student confesses to setting fire at Island Lake school, cops say

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A student at Island Lake's Cotton Creek Elementary School confessed to starting a fire Friday that led to the school's evacuation and some classes being canceled, police said.

The youth, whose name or age were not released by police, ignited toilet paper with a match in a boys bathroom stall, police Chief William McCorkle said. The boy didn't indicate a motive, McCorkle said.

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No one was hurt in the blaze, which was put out by Principal Darlene Baker.

The boy was released to his parents after he made the confession, McCorkle said. No charges were filed.

The case has been referred to the juvenile division of the McHenry County state's attorney's office.

The school was evacuated after the fire was discovered about 9:45 a.m.

Wauconda Fire Department Battalion Chief Kevin Pyne praised educators for getting the students outside safely before firefighters arrived.

"The school did a wonderful job," Pyne said.

Because of smoke in part of the building near the bathroom, morning kindergartners, first graders and second graders were not allowed to return to their classrooms, Wauconda Unit District 118 Superintendent Daniel Coles said in an email sent to parents.

Those students were kept in a different part of the building after the fire.

The morning kindergartners went home at the usual time, and afternoon kindergarten classes were canceled. Parents of first- and second-graders were asked to pick up their students early.

Classes for third-, fourth- and fifth-graders were allowed to resume, Coles said.

Students should be back to a normal schedule Monday. Parents will be contacted electronically if that changes.

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