Investigation Underway into Fire at Glacier High School

By Beacon Staff

Update, 3:15 p.m. — Glacier High School’s administration and the Kalispell Police Department are investigating Tuesday’s fire at the school’s track.

A human-caused fire fully engulfed the school’s pole vault pits, heavily damaged the pole vault standards, the rubber runway, a nearby fence and concrete surface, according to the school, which released further information Tuesday afternoon. The approximate value of the damage is estimated at roughly $40,000, according to Glacier school officials.

There are images on the school’s video surveillance system and investigators are following up on other possible leads, according to Glacier Activities Director Mark Dennehy.

The Kalispell School District, along with Crimestoppers, is offering a $1,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the damage.

Anyone with information should contact Dennehy at 758-8620.

“Any help in this matter is greatly appreciated,” Dennehy stated in an email.

The Kalispell Fire Department responded to a reported fire at Glacier High School early Tuesday morning and discovered someone had burned the foam pole vault mat alongside the school’s track.

According to Fire Chief Dave Dedman, a caller reported driving by the school around 3:20 a.m. and told authorities that a fire was burning. Fire crews arrived on scene and disposed of the flames, but the entire foam mat was reduced to ashes. No further evidence was found, but the fire was determined to be human-caused, according to Dedman.

“Whether it was intentional or unintentional, we don’t know,” Dedman said. “That’s the hard part about fire investigations is that a majority of your evidence is consumed by the fire.”

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