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Colorado teen who set himself ablaze at high school dies

By Keith Coffman

DENVER, Feb 10 (Reuters) - A 16-year-old Colorado boy who set himself ablaze in a suicide attempt last month in the cafeteria of his suburban Denver high school in front of 60 classmates has died from his injuries, police said on Monday.

Vincent Nett, a student at Standley Lake High School in the suburb of Westminster, walked into the school about 7 a.m. on Jan. 27, doused himself with a flammable liquid and set himself alight.

A custodian extinguished the flames but not before the boy was badly burned. He died on Sunday at a local hospital, Westminster Police Investigator Cheri Spottke said. She said more than 60 students witnessed the incident.

Nett suffered severe burns over 80 percent of his body, the Westminster Fire Department said. The county coroner will release the cause of death later in the week.

During the incident, a teacher suffered a minor cut to her hand when she broke glass to retrieve the fire extinguisher, police said at the time.

The blaze prompted the evacuation of the 1,400-student school in Westminster, a suburb of 100,000 people northwest of Denver. Police found no other explosives or suspicious devices when they searched the school and concluded that Nett acted alone.

Standley Lake is in the same school district as Columbine High School, where two teenagers shot dead a teacher and 12 classmates before committing suicide in 1999 in one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history.

Denver-area schools have been on edge since December when an 18-year-old student in Arapahoe High in nearby Centennial shot a classmate to death with a shotgun before killing himself.

Nett, in a rambling online posting before the self-immolation, said that no one was to blame for his suicide and nothing could have been done to prevent it.

"I had this planned for years," he said in a Facebook posting, adding, "I never was a really good person." (Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Cynthia Osterman)

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