Students question whether Portland Christian High fires and graffiti are hate based

The 3 a.m. fire at Portland Christian High School was perhaps the work of cowardly hoodlums, students surmise. David F. Ashton Photos

By David F. Ashton – April 3, 2006

The normally quiet of an early morning on NE San Rafael St. was shattered by the roar of fire engines and the wail of sirens early Monday morning. Firefighters sped along NE 122nd Ave. to answer a second fire call to Portland Christian School, within in the past two months.

Bureau officials say the 3 a.m. fire was at the school’s field house and coach’s office. The blaze, it appears, was started in two portable toilets located next to the grandstand structure, on the north side of building.

This fire was said to have caused $7,500 in damages. The fire about 60 days ago did $32,000 in damages to vehicles and buildings.

Officials say “racist and sexual graffiti” was emblazoned on the outside of a structure nearby the fire scene. Portland Police Bureau Bias Crimes Unit has been called in to investigate the case.

“The talk at school is that who ever did this probably doesn’t even know the meaning of a swastika. It’s the work of punks who want to seem tough,” is how a student who identified himself as Josh, put it to us, outside the school grounds that afternoon. “You notice that these cowards did this in the middle of the night – not when we’re out here.”

The culprit of this fire is subject to Felony Arson charges, officials say. Have information? Call Portland Fire & Rescue investigators at (503) 823-3791.

More on this story as it develops.

2006 David F. Ashton – East PDX News – All Rights Reserved

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