Fire damages Burien’s St. Bernadette School

  • Written by Nathan Whalen
  • Published in Local
A fire damaged the north entrance of St. Bernadette School’s primary building sometime Wednesday night or early Thursday morning. Students in preschool, pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and grades 1 through 3 couldn’t attend classes Thursday and Friday. Photo: Courtesy Jeanne Flohr A fire damaged the north entrance of St. Bernadette School’s primary building sometime Wednesday night or early Thursday morning. Students in preschool, pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and grades 1 through 3 couldn’t attend classes Thursday and Friday. Photo: Courtesy Jeanne Flohr

BURIEN – The King County Sheriff’s Office is asking for help identifying the person who intentionally set a fire October 17 that damaged St. Bernadette School in Burien. Anyone who has information about who started the fire should call 1-800-55-ARSON, according to information from the King County Sheriff’s Office.

Last week’s blaze left school officials scrambling to find classroom space for around 75 students because of the damage to the school’s primary building.

“We’re reconfiguring space in the upper building to accommodate all of the students who have been displaced,” said Jeanne Flohr, the school’s librarian and development director.

Students in preschool, pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and grades 1 through 3 couldn’t attend school Thursday and Friday because of the fire damage. They returned to class Monday. The Burien school has about 160 students from age 3 through eighth grade.

The fire started around 2:30 a.m. outside the north entrance of the school’s primary building. Flohr said the doors were burned, windows were broken, and there was water in the hallways and smoke damage throughout the building. Fire investigators estimate the amount of damages at upwards of $40,000, according to the sheriff’s office.

 

The fire didn’t damage the school’s upper building or the church or church hall, according to the St. Bernadette Parish website. Weekend Masses and parish functions continued as scheduled.

Late last week, employees were busy preparing the library, music room, Spanish room and before- and after-school space for students.

Flohr said she didn’t know how much the repairs would cost or how long they would take.

“We’re just hoping it will be done as soon as humanly possible,” she said.

A donation page has been set up for people wishing to support St. Bernadette School.

 

This story has been updated with information from the King County Sheriff's Office.