Tucson school suffers significant damage during overnight fire

Salpointe Catholic expects classes to resume as scheduled on Aug. 8
(KOLD News 13)
Published: Jul. 17, 2022 at 9:10 PM MST|Updated: Jul. 18, 2022 at 1:36 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Crews battled a large fire at Salpointe Catholic in Tucson late Sunday, July 17, and it is being investigated as arson.

The Tucson Fire Department said crews were dispatched at 8:10 p.m. and arrived on the scene four minutes later. By 9:12 p.m., the two-alarm fire was under control.

According to Salpointe, the fire started in an attic space and spread throughout the English wing, which suffered significant damage. Classes are still set to resume on Aug. 8 and the school said it has no plans to switch to remote learning.

(Tucson Fire Department)

The 300 and 400 wings of the school also suffered smoke and water damage.

“Fire safety assessment personnel and building safety experts are on site today,” the school said in an email. “Rest assured that we will not open the campus until it is deemed safe to do so.”

Salpointe said it will remain closed until further notice and all events are canceled.

“Please do not visit the campus until further notice,” the school said. “We have not determined building and air quality safety.”

No one was inside the school at the time of the fire, there were no injuries and the cause is under investigation.

(Tucson Fire Department)

“This is a devastating and unexpected setback,” the school said. “However, we will come together as a Salpointe community and we will meet this challenge. We ask God’s blessings on Salpointe. He has led us for the past 72 years and we trust that He will continue to show us the way. Please join us in praying for our community.”

It has been a tough year for schools in the Tucson area.

On Jan. 23, Tucson Country Day School saw four of its vans, and part of its kitchen, destroyed by fire.

On Jan. 24, Kellond Elementary suffered more than $100,000 worth of damage when vandals broke windows and set a small fire on its roof.

On Feb. 6, YouthWorks Charter High was hit by vandals and had to replace several windows.

On Feb. 18, the playground at Lynn-Urquides Elementary was destroyed by fire.

On March 20, graffiti was painted on the walls and a table in the lunch room at Tanque Verde Elementary. The graffiti included a swastika and four Tanque Verde High students were arrested.

On May 3, there was a large-scale fight at Tucson High that led to at least two arrests.

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