MLK High fire deemed arson

January 17, 2008 3:14:37 PM PST
Officials say somebody intentionally started a fire Wednesday inside Philadelphia's Martin Luther King, Jr., High School, sending all the students home.

The fire was reported shortly after noon Wednesday in the 6100 block of Stenton Ave.

Workmen at Martin Luther King High, Thursday, were going virtually around the clock to clean up and repair the third floor in time for classes to resume Tuesday, after Monday's Martin Luther King holiday.

Wednesday's arson fire just before noon forced the school's closing.

1,500 students from grades 9 through 12 were sent home.

The fire marshal says three separate fires, two in a classroom area and another in a storage room, were deliberately set.

Action News found two King students in the library researching transfers to other school. They said the arson fire was the last straw.

The school will be closed completely Friday, but will be open for the scheduled Martin Luther King day of service activities on Monday.

The building was evacuated and most students were dismissed shortly thereafter. Special education students were relocated to another facility.

One pregnant person was taken to the hospital to be check, but there were no other injuries reported.

In the meantime, federal agents have entered the investigation and the search for the arsonist who set Wednesday's fire.