About 1,000 Hammond High School students were sent into the cold for an hour Wednesday afternoon after a student set fire to a gym mat, Howard County fire officials said.
Officials at the Guilford Road school yesterday blamed a male student for the fire, but the student was not identified and no additional information was available.
The state fire marshal's office is deciding whether to file criminal charges in the case, said Patti Caplan, spokeswoman for Howard County schools.
No one was injured in the fire, which was confined to the auxiliary gymnasium and caused about $1,500 damage. But one girl was taken to Howard County General for treatment of asthma and re- leased, said Lt. Chris Cangemi, a spokesman for the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue.
The fire was set in the school's auxiliary gym about 12:30 p.m. School officials called the 911 emergency number and evacuated students. School employees used seven fire extinguishers to try to smother the fire.
About 10 minutes later, firefighters arrived and saw heavy smoke coming from the high school in Columbia's Kings Contrivance village, officials said. They doused the blaze.