Fire scorches Madrona Elementary ‘toolshed’ — UPDATE: Arson

(Image: CDNews via reader contribution)

(Image: CDNews via reader contributed video)

Fire units responded to a fully engulfed structure on the Madrona Elementary School campus early Sunday morning.

We are awaiting updates from Seattle Fire regarding the extent of the damage and any word on the cause. UPDATE: A SFD spokesperson tells us the fire was determined to have been intentionally set and the investigation has been handed over to police. Damage was limited to $2,500 — $1,000 to the structure, $1,000 to the school building and another $500 to the contents of the shed.

The department marshal was dispatched to the scene for investigation of the blaze early in the response just after 12:30 AM Sunday.

The building was described as a “fully involved toolshed” by SFD radio dispatches and was brought under control about 10 minutes later. Inspections of adjacent facilities revealed smoke but no apparent fire damage.

The fire comes in the wake of a string of suspicious fires in the area. Madrona Elementary at 33rd and Union stands just 10 blocks from the arson fire that damaged the Med Mix restaurant last week. Authorities are offering a $10,000 reward for any information pertaining to the case. Anyone with information is instructed to call 1-800-55-ARSON.

16 thoughts on “Fire scorches Madrona Elementary ‘toolshed’ — UPDATE: Arson

  1. I get the feeling someone is practicing with plans to go bigger until they get caught, which is no doubt what their sad, twisted, attention starved psyche is hoping for.

  2. Madrona K-8, could easily be seen as a symbol of gentrification, especially if White families in the area decide to actually enroll their children there. There is strong anger towards the school district from the folks who demand that the District surrender the Horace Mann Building. This fire seems consistent with the story line of political arsons in opposition to gentrification of the Central District and attacks on those held responsible for it.

    • Can you explain this a bit more? Madrona elementary is predominantly serving the community that is complaining about being driven out of the area. I don’t understand how burning that school, depriving those kids of “their” school, could be seen as any sort of enlightened political statement. Not that arsonists could be considered enlightened or even care. The very idea that burning down a building in the community you are supposedly supporting is idiotic.

      But maybe I just don’t understand.

    • Yeah, that makes lots of sense. Let’s burn down a school full of little black children because little white kids MIGHT start going there? I’m more inclined to believe this is just a garden-variety pyromaniac who’s burning anything he thinks he can get away with. The racial/gentrification messages are a decoy to whip up sensationalism and attention. And it obviously works, don’t it? Us bleeding-heart liberals lap up this white-guilt shit.

    • Madrona School’s demographics have changed in the last few years. Anyone still harping on the old drama needs to do some research.

  3. If you ask me (and I know you didn’t) this is just a run-of-the-mill nutcase arsonist who is trying to get people riled up over race/class/gentrification issues to take away from his crimes.

    It’s like that freakshow who was burning up Greenwood a few years back, or the crazy who was torching the Northend/Shoreline 15 years ago, just without the racial components.

    Although it is interesting the most of the serial arsonists around here tend to do their thing in the more affluent neighborhoods. Maybe that says something about the changing nature of the CD. We’ve finally gotten classy enough to have our own arsonist ;-)

    • I agree. The racial aspects are red-herring. Probably dealing with your run-of-the-mill nutjob.

  4. Last night, just before midnight, there was a fire call to the address of the Madrona Library. The request was for 2 engines, a ladder and a battalion chief. When I drove by the area just after midnight, the 2 engines and the ladder truck were leaving the area of the library. It’s interesting to me that just after midnight, one fire engine or ladder truck was sitting on 32nd alongside the Madrona K-8 kindergarten playground, near the area where the fire occurred about 1/2 and hour later.
    I’m wondering what that call was about.
    It’s curious to me that the call to the library and the fire at Madrona k-8 occurred within about 30 minutes of each other.

  5. The messge is that SPS has been belittling the minds of our children for a century and it is time for them to get out of the cd. Whites can go to sps if they want. No more for my family.

      • Is that the only choices? Failing school or home school? Sounds like we need to work on creating options for people. Given that $20,000 per year is spent to teach each child in the Seattle School District, and, given that a fraction of that actually goes to educating the student – we should demand that the state give their portion of funding towards an alternate education program for each child. Additionally, any levy funds should be prorated per child and offered to alternative education funding. We cannot accept funding a failing monopoly. Who is suffering from the failure? CD kids.

      • Hey, Pinebeetle, nice bumper sticker slogans. All of your data and claims are wrong, but great slogans.

        There isn’t $20,000 per year spent to teach each child in the Seattle School District. First, that number is much higher than the actual average and second, the average isn’t a meaningful number anyway. Funding for typical students is closer to $5,000. The average is goosed up by a few students who are much, much more expensive to educate.

        Where are these “alternative education programs” going to come from and what is it going to cost to oversee them? Both impractical.

        Also our public schools are neither failing nor a monopoly. Our public schools are very, very good and there are already lots of options for people who don’t choose them. In case you hadn’t heard, a lot of school children in Seattle are not enrolled in the public schools, so it clearly isn’t a monopoly.

        Who is suffering from the failure? Primarily children living in low-income households. Now ask yourself who is failing them. The greatest determinants of academic success are all home-based, not school-based.

      • I will give that SPS is not the entire problem. Parents and communities in seattle are also failing to raise a proper generation of industrious employable or leader citizens.

        SPS does have a budget that equates to $20,000 annually per student. It is certainly true that they do not spend anywhere near that much on students. They burn it on “legacy” issues. They do not transfer the majority of the money to special needs students. That 20% of the population gets some more, but, not even the full $20K that Seattle takes in and simply burns. SPS talks about their legacy burden and how they should not be held accountable for the giant mess they have created.

        Washington state education auditors have had their hands tied by agreements with the Federal government that except them from accountability for federally mandated programs – exceptions that other districts in Washington do not have. Seattle has excepted and excused themselves with a permanent toilet pass. They checked in to the sewer and will not be checking out anytime soon.

        Take a look around and ask yourself if even 50% of Seattle students are getting what they deserve from SPS. Clearly not. I would say that the top 25% of studends have a reasonable education. 10% that are just plain smart and ready by their own means – probably don’t need much from the school in the first place. Another couple dozen or so percent perform alright and get the cream of programs and attention. The rest get chipped beef in mushroom gravy every day. They don’t bother tasting the stuff after the 5th grade. They may or may not graduate. They are not ready to work and they are not ready for college. The system is clearly not optimized or anywhere close. SPS has failed and continues to fail.

        They have $20,000 available per student. They burn it.

  6. White people move out?


    White people move in?


    PIck a lane and stick to it please.