RENTON, Wash. -- Arsonists on the loose in Renton, setting at least 10 fires at four schools in the middle of the night. Now the fire marshal is warning people who live around those campuses to be on the lookout.
Investigators fear these arsons will escalate, and it’s only a matter of time before there’s harm to a building or people.
“I had no idea that was even going on but that’s pretty disturbing,” said Christina Logue, who lives about a mile from a school.
A torched portable toilet, a dumpster, and ashes of what used to be a shed are just three of 10 arsons since November at Renton schools, including Lindbergh High School, Renton High School, Tiffany Park Elementary and Renton Park Elementary.
Renton’s fire marshal is worried the arsonist behind these fires will move onto bigger things to burn.
“It’s very concerning to us,” said Fire Marshal Anjela St. John. “Any time we have fires starting in the community, we’re worried that behavior will escalate to other buildings and occupied buildings.”
Students like James Farrell says the fires have been disruptive to school. Inconvenient too, without a portable toilet nearby for when he and his friends play soccer.
“I just don’t get why people would do such a thing,” said Farrell.
The damage has been estimated at $30,000 -- money and resources parents say are being taken from their kids and their community.
“It’s definitely something we need to figure out what’s going on; there’s so much activity around schools and our kids, it’s scary to think that kind of harm is happening,” said Kit Cabianca, whose son practices soccer at Lindbergh High.
Renton Fire is urging people to leave their house lights on, don’t leave any trash out, and report any suspicious activity.