HISD Hopes To Re-Open Hamilton Middle School Friday After Early-Morning Arson

Houston ISD officials hope to re-open Hamilton Middle School tomorrow morning. Crews have spent the day cleaning up after a pair of overnight fires. Investigators believe a student deliberately set them. David Pitman has more.

HISD police were on their way to check out a burglar alarm at Hamilton Middle School around 2:30 this morning when a fire alarm came in. When police and fire crews arrived, they found two fires — one in a second floor auditorium, another in a third floor computer lab. District spokesman Norm Uhl says the fire caused extensive damage to that computer lab.

"We had approximately 35 brand-new computers in there — and some guitars from a guitar class that we do at the school that were destroyed."

HISD images from the Hamilton Middle School fire
HISD images from the Hamilton Middle School fire

Classes at Hamilton Middle were called off for the day. Some students who showed up, unaware that Hamilton was closed were bused to a nearby campus.

As cleanup continues this afternoon, air quality experts will take samples to make sure conditions are safe enough for students to return tomorrow.

Uhl says any necessary repainting will have to wait.

"We didn't want to go from smoke fumes to paint fumes for school tomorrow. So we're going to be doing some of that over the weekend to let the paint fumes dissipate."

Police arrested a female Hamilton student who was at the school when they responded to the burglar and fire alarms. The girl, whose name wasn't released because of privacy issues, is under investigation for both the break-in, and the arson.
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David Pitman

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