Taylor D’Andrea and Eloise Graham
Editor-in-Chief and News Editor
The initial investigation into the fire that started in the South Gym boys’ locker room during fifth period on Tuesday, Jan. 31 suggests that the cause of the fire may have been arson, Samo Principal Laurel Fretz said in an email to Samo parents.
According to Santa Monica Fire Department (SMFD) fireman Mark Bridges, the fire was “suspicious,” and they will continue to investigate the fire with the Santa Monica Police Department.
“We have pretty much eliminated all natural causes,” Bridges said. “We will move forward with the investigation.”
According to SMFD fireman Gary Marshall, the damage was not extensive, although Bridges said that they responded with three fire engines, one ladder and one hazard unit.
“We got a report of a fire in the boys’ locker room, it looked like the boys’ locker room was charged with smoke and it involved two or three lockers,” Marshall said.
The belongings of the fifth period P.E. students, according to Bridges, will not be returned to them for the time being, as they need to make sure they are laundered and free of chemicals. Bridges also said that the main concern with the fire was the smoke chemicals it created.
During fifth period, an announcement was made that all students in fifth period physical education would continue on to their sixth period class without materials, and all sixth period athletes were ordered to report the Greek theater during sixth period.
Fretz and the Fire Department are urging anyone with further information about the incident to contact their house principals, or to call the WE-TIP line at 1-800-78-CRIME
The Samohi will continue to report on the investigation.