Charges, confession in St. Croix Elementary arson - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Charges, confession in St. Croix Elementary arson

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photo by Greg Kellogg / FOX 9 News. photo by Greg Kellogg / FOX 9 News.
Main building of Girl Scouts camp, which will house kindergarten through 2nd grade. Photo by Rob Olson / FOX 9 News. Main building of Girl Scouts camp, which will house kindergarten through 2nd grade. Photo by Rob Olson / FOX 9 News.
HUDSON, Wis. (KMSP) -

Arson charges were filed Friday against a 24-year-old man in connection with a destructive fire at St. Croix Elementary School in Roberts, Wis.

Justin Nelson is accused of breaking into the school to steal medications from the nurse's office. Nelson said he acted alone, and also used fire extinguishers to break into classrooms and steal cameras, jewelry and other items.

When police questioned Nelson about the fire at St. Croix Elementary, he said, "I have reasons to believe that it was me."

He said his memory was "foggy" but that he remembered walking away with several things in his pockets and seeing smoke coming from the school.

A tipster told police that Nelson was at a party the night of the fire, about one block away from the school. Nelson was seen playing with the bonfire at the party and saying he "loves fire more than an ordinary person should."

The fire was first reported at 3:46 a.m. Tuesday. Later in the day, investigators confirmed signs of forced entry had been found.

The fire closed St. Croix Central Elementary for the remainder of the school year. Starting Monday, the children will be taking classes at the Rolling Ridges Girl Scout Camp.

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