Two small fires alarm Oak Harbor High School
January 26, 2010 · Updated 3:08 PM
A fire that originated near the Oak Harbor High School field house alarmed teachers and staff Monday, but it was quickly contained.
The small fire was started in a plastic trash container in the boys’ bathroom at about 1:44 p.m., just as the high school was closing. A custodian had noticed the smoke and doused the blaze with an extinguisher.
The container melted to the floor, Mark Soptich, chief of the Oak Harbor Fire Department, said.
Investigators also noticed a second fire was lit in a different wing of the school. Someone had attempted to burn a paper towel dispenser in the bathroom, said Battalion Chief Ray Merrill.
The fire department used fans to clear the smoke.
“I would assume the fires occurred around the same time,” Merrill added.
There are no suspects so far, and school officials haven’t yet talked about increasing surveillance. Usually staff patrol the campus after hours, Principal Dwight Lundstrom said. Mondays are unique, because there are staff meetings.
“It’s a time when a kid could walk through that area,” he said Tuesday.
The field house was remodeled last year as part of the high school’s $75 million modernization project. It is connected to new $10 million Student Union Building, which was completed in December.
“It’s kind of maddening in a remodeled area for that to happen,” Lundstrom said.
Soptich said there was no structural damage to the high school and the investigation is continuing.
Since school had just ended, it was mostly staff that had been evacuated as well as students from the school’s ROTC program. No one was injured.