Rash of fires at Western Guilford

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We predicted back on December 18 that Western Guilford H.S. would probably be the next school that we would be reading about.

We were right.

News & Record is reporting this morning that a rash of fires have been reported at Western; fire officials have been called out to the school three times to help put them out. All of them have been suspicious in nature, N&R reports.


Firefighters have been called to Western Guilford High School three times this week to put out small, suspicious fires.

The fires have injured no one. Only one of the fires caused any damage, which a Greensboro Fire Department official said was minimal.

Firefighters responded Tuesday afternoon to a bathroom fire at the school at 409 Friendway Road. On Thursday, they were called out about 4 p.m. to put out a second fire in a bathroom. They returned around 6 p.m. to extinguish a blaze in a hallway.

Battalion Chief Bill Lentz said all three fires are suspicious, but he is unsure if they are related.

Anyone with information about the blazes can call Crime Stoppers at 373-1000.


E.C. 🙂


9 Responses

  1. Erik, My Intel told me Tues or Wed. there was a lock down at Western after one kid set another kid’s hair on fire in the lunch room then ran off. Afterwards the cafeteria smelled like burnt hair .

    I have a request for when you win the school board seat. Have all Guilford county schools put your office phone# into their automated calling system so you can hear the incident spins they send out. Every time there’s a problem at Western, the school sends out a propaganda recording via automated calling giving it’s sugar coated side of the story.

    It would be nice if someone in authority could hear what’s being said.

  2. my god…what more can possibly be said…

  3. After what happened at Eastern Guilford, you would think people would understand the seriousness of this type of crime.

    I say that if someone is arrested for these crimes at Western Guilford, they should face felony charges. Even if it’s a teenage student. Arson is simply too serious to say, “Oh, it’s just a teenage prank.”

  4. Mr. Huey,
    Thank you so much for your thoughtful article in this week’s N and R. As a teacher and a parent of a teenager at Grimsley High School, I, too, am concerned that the Guilford County Board of Education find a capable local person to put safety and discipline back into our schools. Leadership is difficult, but without it, our public schools will fall farther and farther behind. Those of us who care about Grimsley (I’m an alumna) and the future of our public schools must summon the will to be advocates for the great majority of students who truly want to learn. As it is, we are being held hostile by a school board and administrators who are afraid to enforce policies and rules. Thank you for your integrity and courage. Elyse Topkins

  5. Erik, this is the latest Western intel report. There was a bomb threat today. Police were called, bomb dogs walked through the school.

    The school has been placed on indefinite lock down starting this morning and extending indefinitely. Students can’t be late for classes or they will be “written-up” and referred to the principal. Students cannot leave the class for water or bathroom. If it’s a bathroom emergency, the teacher must call the office and have an administrator come to the class to escort the student to the facility.

    All hall bulletin board displays outside classrooms must be removed as two of these bulletin boards were set on fire this week and one scorched the ceiling.

    A letter was sent home with all students regarding the incidents of arson this week and does not mention the girl’s hair being set on fire on Wednesday.

    I’ll scan and email you a copy of the letter later this evening.

  6. Elyse, thank you for the kind words. As we’re seeing here with what’s happening at Western, and the apparently-deteriorating situation out there, the safety and security of our children should be a top priority downtown…clearly, it isn’t. Lord willing, I hope to change that…and soon. Please spread the word, thank you for your support, and stay tuned.

  7. Just curious: did the School Board address discipline issues at its retreat? Was there any discussion of how the schools can quell the appalling increase of violence, disruptive behavior and now destruction of school property?

  8. John: I think all that was mentioned was that the school discipline task force is preparing their final report. I hate to say it, but I don’t think it was given the attention it deserved…and now, we’re seeing the results of that.

  9. I personally know the girl who’s hair was set on fire. Even though it’s months after the incident, she is still shaken up. She didnt like lighters then, as she told the boy, and she doesn’t like them now.

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