GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. (WWLP) – A teenager will be charged with setting a fire at the vacant Searles School in Great Barrington according to Great Barrington Fire Chief Charles Burger, Great Barrington Police Chief Paul Storti, and State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey.

Because the teen is under age 17, they are not being identified but will be called to Berkshire County Juvenile Court for a hearing at a later date.

Great Barrington firefighters were called to 79 Bridge Street around 5:00 pm on Sunday, June 19 after receiving a 911 call. They saw smoke coming from the building on the left side of the second floor. Upon entry, they encountered smoke and found combustible materials on fire, contained to one room with concrete walls and flooring. 

The investigation was conducted by the Great Barrington Fire Department, the Great Barrington Police Department, and the State Police Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit assigned to the State Fire Marshal’s office. They determined that the point of origin was a piece of furniture that had been set on fire. Further investigation at the scene, witness interviews, and other evidence gathered helped identify the juvenile as a suspect.