2 small fires under investigation at West Seattle High School

Firefighters were called to West Seattle High School today twice within the span of just a few hours. We went to the school to see what was happening, after getting tips from concerned neighbors/passersby – though the calls at 11:37 am and 2:17 pm were only on the 911 log as “automatic fire alarms.” At the school, principal Ruth Medsker confirmed to WSB that, as scanner traffic had indicated, both were trash-can fires – one led to a brief evacuation because of “plastic fumes.” Both the principal and Seattle Fire Department confirm there was no damage and no injuries, but SFD Lt. Sue Stangl says the fires are under investigation with “Seattle FIre, Seattle Police and school security working together.”

10 Replies to "2 small fires under investigation at West Seattle High School"

  • West seattle student January 24, 2011 (5:46 pm)

    Yeah it was said by a few my friends and other students that it was the same person who lit these fires in the boys bathroom,but everybody was pretty upset because we had to Stand outside in the rain while the fire inspectors had to check the other rooms.

  • wshs January 24, 2011 (6:16 pm)

    i go to that school.

  • LF January 24, 2011 (6:20 pm)

    Perhaps of interest would be the number of fire calls so far this school year. I live near WSHS and believe it is (an unconfirmed) 6 calls thus far. I don’t know how many are real vs false alarms, but simply have noticed students exiting then fire trucks arriving. Assuming that trend continues, WSHS is on track for over 10 calls for the 2010-11 school year alone.

    • WSB January 24, 2011 (7:45 pm)

      LF – Anecdotally, I recall several other “auto fire alarm” callouts to WSHS, though some are in the middle of the night. There are several major facilities around here that have semi-frequent alarm calls … we have come to memorize the addresses so we know instantly when we look at the log – which is why in fact this one took a couple hours to report, someone said “What’s with all the fire trucks” for the first callout, but an auto fire alarm didn’t instantly raise suspicions … TR

  • CandrewB January 24, 2011 (6:53 pm)

    We were jogging by there today and saw an ambulance with its gurney out near what maybe the gym (not too familiar with the campus); figured maybe it was a gym injury.

  • Traci January 24, 2011 (6:55 pm)

    When I was in middle school a kid kept lighting the trash cans on fire. At first it was kind of fun to get out of class, but it got old REALLY fast.

  • Paula Tortorice January 24, 2011 (8:03 pm)

    @ LF – you can tell when we have a drill at WSHS as fire trucks do not come screaming toward the school. The SFD is aware we are having a drill in advance. If you hear sirens, it is safe to assume that (1) a student has pulled the alarm to get out of class (this is finals week and it is common to have it happen once or twice); or, (2) there is a fire, as was the case today.

    I am very proud of the way our administrators, staff, and students handled the evacuation today.

    P. Tortorice, WSHS Teacher

  • Walnut January 24, 2011 (8:49 pm)

    The ambulance with gurney was at the Hiawatha community center around 1145am.
    Close to wshs but a different call.

  • homesweethome January 25, 2011 (7:11 am)

    Sounds like the kiddos need more to do, and more detention – or do we not do that anymore? Total waste of public resources and perhaps the student and his family should have to pay for the waste. If said student had to wash firetrucks for say, an entire summer, perhaps they would find that during school hours they should pay attention and leave the matches alone.

  • Anoynomous January 25, 2011 (10:44 am)

    i go to that school ghut get out early but when i heard about this it made me pretty ashamed and dissapointed that someone thinks it’s funny to vandalize the school.

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