3 15-year-olds arrested as suspects for causing Gault Middle School fire

Jan 11, 2024, 12:15 PM | Updated: 3:00 pm

gault middle school fire...

Tacoma's Gault Middle School on fire. (Photo courtesy of Tacoma Fire Department)

(Photo courtesy of Tacoma Fire Department)

Arson investigators with the Tacoma Fire Department arrested three juveniles after developing probable cause over their alleged involvement in causing a fire at Gault Middle School.

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A week ago, a fire erupted at the school at approximately 4 a.m. Tacoma Firefighters and personnel fought the fire intermittently for several days before it was finally extinguished. Arson detectives launched their investigation into the cause of the fire immediately after. Crews had to implement a defensive strategy to contain the fire, using ladders and hoses to attack it from above. Several portions of the roof reportedly collapsed.

The school has been empty since 2009 after it was shut down due to declining enrollment. It has been a point of contention for neighbors, with complaints of homeless encampments and criminal activity ever since its closure.

With the assistance of Gig Harbor Police, Tacoma Police apprehended two 15-year-old males and a 15-year-old female. All three were taken into custody without incident and booked into Remann Hall. They have each been charged with first-degree arson and second-degree burglary.

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Tacoma Public Schools had previously announced plans to demolish the abandoned school.

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3 15-year-olds arrested as suspects for causing Gault Middle School fire