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UPDATED: Investigators on scene of reported trash fire at Wakefield HS

Wakefield High School (file photo by Jay Westcott)

(Updated at 4:10 p.m.) Someone is apparently setting trash cans on fire at Wakefield High School.

Firefighters were on scene at the school this afternoon after a fire in a trash can filled part of the second floor with smoke, according to scanner traffic. It’s the second trash fire in recent days at the school, we’re told.

“This week on two different occasions, someone has set on fire the trash cans in different bathrooms and cause the fire department to be dispatched,” a tipster tells ARLnow. “This is dangerous.”

A video sent to ARLnow earlier this week, below, appears to show the first fire.

Fire marshals were dispatched to the school today to investigate the fire. At least one person was evaluated for smoke inhalation by paramedics.

An Arlington Public Schools spokesman told ARLnow that there were two fire alarms at the school this afternoon, the first of which was mechanical in nature. Wakefield’s principal sent an email to families this afternoon providing additional details about the incidents.

Dear Wakefield Community,

I want to provide an update on today’s fire alarms. As I mentioned in an earlier School Talk message today, students were evacuated because of a fire alarm. This was caused by a mechanical issue. The ACFD gave the all clear 10 minutes after the alarm. As students were reentering the building, the fire alarm went off again. This time, it was caused by a fire set in a bathroom trash can. One student was evaluated by EMS for potential smoke inhalation but was not transported to the hospital. Thankfully the student is fine and is with their parents.

This is the second incident involving a trash can fire this week. This type of behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. These incidents are being investigated and we will take appropriate disciplinary actions for those involved.

The safety of our students and staff is our top priority. If a student knows anything about these incidents, please have them speak to an administrator.

After school activities that take place inside the building are canceled for today.

Sincerely,

Dr. Chris Willmore
Principal

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