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UPDATED: Firefighters battle blaze at Lowell Elementary

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on Sep. 19, 2011 at 1:32 pm with 9 Comments »
September 20, 2011 6:40 am

UPDATED as of 2:25 p.m.

Tacoma firefighters have doused a small fire inside a staff kitchen at Lowell Elementary School in the North End.

The fire started just before 1:15 p.m.  in the staff kitchen located inside a secondary building at the school, 810 N. 13th St. The blaze is not considered suspicious, fire department spokesman Joe Meinecke said.

Tacoma Public Schools spokesman Dan Voelpel said a staff member left a pan of oil on the stove after cooking french fries for lunch. The staff member is not a teacher.

Classes at the school – and all schools in the Tacoma School District – were cancelled today because of an ongoing teacher strike.

The kitchen-area sustained some damage. The building where the fire occurred also contains some primary-grade classrooms but whether those rooms were damaged by smoke was not immediately known.

The blaze caused an estimated $40,000 in damages, Meinecke said.

Grayson Warren, an eighth grader, was on the school’s playground with three of his friends when he noticed smoke coming from the building. He could hear the alarm sounding and saw a staff member running with a fire extinguisher.

“It got pretty big fast,” said Grayson, who went to Lowell.

One student reported seeing glass breaking. Another boy who was on the playground said he was scared.

The fire caused $40,000 damage.

News Tribune reporter Debbie Cafazzo contributed to this report.



Leave a comment Comments → 9
  1. I bet the disgruntled teachers did it…

  2. AlabamaGeorge says:

    I’ll bet anyone blaming it on the teachers is a District spokesperson

  3. tacomajoe says:

    As there were no students present and thus no one hurt, the teachers can FINALLY claim one positive result of their illegal strike.

  4. TMichener says:

    Wow, Stealth… now that’s the kind of thing that gets blown way out of proportion… whether you agree with the teachers or not, stating that “I bet the disgruntled teachers did it…” is not productive to anything… there’s no proof that it was intentional never mind saying that it was a teacher… get a grip and if you can’t be constructive, then just don’t bother commenting at all!

  5. tomwa007 says:

    Either Teachers or Obama started it

    Wink Wink

  6. Regfool2 says:

    The staff member is not a teacher.

    Did anyone actually READ this article before commenting?

  7. yeah…it was the teachers

  8. what sort of staff member would be cooking on a non school day? I suppose the facilities folks are still on site emptying the empty trash cans, and re-sweeping the clean floors because their union says they have to remain in the building for the full school year and does not interface with the teacher union orders to strike?

  9. Mike did it…..
    P.S. I support our teachers!!! Go Tacoma Teachers!

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