FRONT ROYAL– Warren County District Court received and released the criminal complaint involving an arson incident at Christendom College last week.

Documents state that Ryan Farrell entered the St. Benedict dorm, which he was not a resident of, and proceeded to take items in a bathroom and throw them into a toilet.

After throwing items in the toilet, the complaint states that Farrell ripped down the shower curtains and gave a lighter to Christopher Shanahan. The items did not belong to Shanahan, who also did not live in the St. Benedict dorm.

Farrell said he knew Shanahan was going to start a fire, according to the criminal complaint.

Shanahan had brought two plastic trash cans with him to the St. Benedict dorm and stuffed them with cardboard and paper to start a fire, the complaint states. Two fires were started, and they set off the building’s fire alarm. Students were evacuated and the fire was extinguished before emergency responders arrived.

County Fire Marshal Gerry Maiatico said damages were confined to the restroom the fire was started in and repairs and restoration are estimated to cost around $5,000.

Maiatico said officials have an idea why the two men started the fire but were not releasing any information about motive until the hearing in April.

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