Around 200 families have been affected by a deliberate fire which ripped through part of a Kirkcaldy primary school at the weekend.
Two boys aged 15 and 16 have been reported to the Children’s Reporter after a plastic picnic table was shoved against a window at Torbain’s infant building and set alight.
On Tuesday, as squads of cleaners, teachers and parent volunteers pulled together to clear up the mess, the consequences of the “wanton vandalism” were laid bare.
While there was no structural damage, blackened walls, layers of dust and a strong smell of smoke were still obvious.
It has been estimated the total bill for calling out the fire service, investigations, the clean-up operation and insurance claim could run to as much as £100,000.
Aside from scores of disappointed children unable to start school and nursery until Monday, parents have been left to juggle childcare arrangements, council staff have been pulled off jobs to cover the emergency and the local authority will have to find the money to foot the bill.
Kirkcaldy councillor Neil Crooks said the burning plastic would also have released noxious gases into the atmosphere.
Mr Crooks, a former firefighter, suggested the possibility of forcing vandals and fire-raisers to repay the cost of the damage caused should now be debated.
“I would like the youngsters who did this to understand that while there were no lives lost, there is a massive cost to the public purse,” he said.
“In some countries they would be held responsible for paying the cost of what they did. Just imagine if this country did something similar.”
He added: “I would imagine knowing this was the consequence of such an irresponsible act would be a deterrent.”
He said the fire service had stopped the blaze engulfing the entire infant building, which houses primaries one and two and the nursery.
“But we still have families who are having to rearrange their lives because these boys were stupid enough to start a fire,” he said.
“It’s abject stupidity and this wanton vandalism has a high cost to society.”
Torbain head teacher Caroline Bruce said she was disappointed to have to close primary one classes and the nursery until Monday but added the decision was made with the best of intentions for the children.
“By allowing the building to remain closed, this will allow for the repainting of a number of rooms, carpets to be cleaned and all of the resources to be made ready for the pupils coming in,” she said.
All other children should start school as planned on Wednesday.