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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, March 27, 2003

Arson suspected in fire at Kaua'i school offices

By Jan Tenbruggencate
Advertiser Kaua'i Bureau

LIHU'E, Kaua'i — Fire officials told teachers at Wilcox Elementary School that a fire Tuesday night that burned several offices might have been arson.

The fire was reported at about 8:30 p.m. and firefighters had it under control before 9 p.m., although smoke continued to cloud the sky for close to an hour.

Students are on spring break this week.

The burned building faces Hardy Street, across from Lihu'e Public Library. The fire blackened the interior of several offices and poured out of windows and skylights. It destroyed computers and filing cabinets that contained student files, but it did not burn the main office next door.

Fire investigators, who could not be reached yesterday because of the Kuhio Day holiday, told several teachers they had found evidence of accelerants in one office where the fire is believed to have originated, suggesting arson as the cause.

Neighbors reported seeing people moving around the front of the school buildings early in the evening, but no suspects were identified. No damage estimate was available.