Crews investigating attempted arson at Greensboro elementary school


A Greensboro police officer and a fire investigator with the Greensboro Fire Department sit in a parking lot at Bessemer Elementary School in Greensboro. (Nelson Kepley)

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Crews are investigating attempted arson at an elementary school in Greensboro.

Greensboro Fire Department Chief Dewayne Church says a maintenance person arrived at Bessemer Elementary School Wednesday morning and noticed things didn't look right.

Church says it appears as if someone set fire to a material using ignitable liquids in a mechanical area.

However, with just a few weeks left of the summer break for Brietta Betton and her cousins, the news of someone attempting to set Bessemer Elementary on fire was little scary.

“I was angry because why would someone try to burn a school down that's trying to help other kids learn,” said Brietta, a rising sixth-grader who graduated from Bessemer.

“We are just kids. We didn't do anything to you. So why would you try to do to set our school on fire,” she said.

January Teague has two daughters that attend Bessemer Elementary. The thought of sending her kids back to school is even more frightening.

“So if my children were there, what could've happened to them?” she said.

Guilford County Schools tells FOX8 that the school was already closed because of work on nearby power lines.

While investigators say the damage was minor, Teague is already rethinking plans for the start of the school year.

“I'm thinking of pulling my children from Bessemer because my children's safety is the reason why God gave me my children. He entrusted me with my children... not to be in fear of something possibly happening when they go to eat lunch,” she said.

The damage will not impact the school opening for the new academic year.

Crews have cleared the scene.

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