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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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13-year-old girl denies charges in Helena High fire

Associated Press

HELENA, Mont. (AP) – A 13-year-old girl has denied arson and other charges that were filed after a fire that caused up to $1 million in damage and canceled classes at Helena High School for two days.

The girl appeared in Youth Court Tuesday for an admit/deny hearing on a juvenile delinquency petition charging her with arson and burglary. She also faces several misdemeanor-level charges including criminal mischief.

Youth Court Judge Kathy Seeley set the girl’s trial for March 6 and reprimanded her for contacting a co-defendant in violation of the conditions of her release.

Court records say the girl acknowledged setting a mop on fire in a janitor’s close and setting posters on fire in a classroom on Nov. 7.

Two other 13-year-olds also face charges in connection with the fire. All three have histories with juvenile probation.

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