Fire destroys
portable classroom

A maliciously set blaze at
Aliamanu School causes an
estimated $90,000 in damage

By Leila Fujimori

A maliciously set fire destroyed a newly renovated wooden portable classroom at Aliamanu Intermediate School yesterday morning, causing an estimated $90,000 damage, Honolulu Fire Department spokesman Capt. Kenison Tejada said.

The small portable was a converted restroom that was recently extensively renovated to serve a small group of special needs students, said Vice Principal Bryan Miller.

"Everything's melted, TVs, VCRs, computers, everything's gone," Miller said. "It destroyed everything in there, all that we worked on."

He said the fire also destroyed the wiring to a neighboring portable classroom.

The arsonist or arsonists apparently tried to set fire to a nearby classroom and a faculty restroom at the school, causing minor damage to the doors.

Fire investigator Glenn Solem said fire starter bricks were found at those locations.

Tejada said five fire companies responded to the 5:09 a.m. alarm, and were at the scene at 5:13 a.m.. The fire was under control in 10 minutes.

The fire department was alerted to the incident after passersby on Salt Lake Boulevard reported seeing smoke.

A music building next to the portable received minor exposure damage, but the masonry building was otherwise unharmed.

Solem said he recalled two other fires within the last seven years to two different classrooms.

"This is just awful," said seventh-grader Lori Unger, 13, whose classroom is next to the burnt-down portable. "I hope they find the person that did that."

E-mail to City Desk


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2002 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --