“This is a case of youthful negligence,” Matti Paavo of the Södertälje police told the Expressen newspaper.
Back in August, the two boys, ages 15 and 16, decided to test the flammability of their newly purchased hand sanitizer by writing their names with the substance on windows and sections of the façade at the Hovsjö school.
They then set the script alight.
Believing the alcohol-based liquid l had burned out, the two youths then left the area.
But as it turned out, the flames continued to burn in a slow-burning and nearly invisible flame which eventually spread to the wooden panel trim on the building’s exterior.
From there, the fire then spread up the walls toward the roof, sparking a strong enough blaze that firefighters were called less than 10 minutes after the boys had initially sprayed hand sanitizer on the school.
And despite the best efforts of fire crews, the school was totally destroyed.
The two teenagers are now suspected of arson, although police don’t believe they purposefully burned down the school.
“It was a game. They have no other explanation other than that they wanted to test things out and see what happened,” Paavo told the newspaper.