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Loftis Middle School
Date: 09/17/2012
Janice Atkinson
Public Information Officer
Hamilton County Sheriff's Office

A 911 fire alarm received this morning at 2:30 a.m. from Loftis Middle School was answered by Dallas Bay Volunteer Fire Department. On their arrival, the school was entered to deactivate the fire alarm and firefighters observed signs of possible vandalism to the main office area and also heard noises inside the school that would suggest someone may still be inside the building. The firefighters exited the school for their safety.

Just a few minutes later they saw signs of fire on the right side of the building and the fire activated the automatic sprinkler system. The firefighters extinguished the fire immediately and were able to contain the damage to one room.

The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team was activated to respond to the scene and were assisted by the Red Bank Police Department SWAT team. Due to the possibility of suspects still inside the building, the SWAT team did an extensive search beginning on the roof and then into the body of the school itself.

The building search by the SWAT team was concluded at approximately 9:45 a.m. with no one located inside the building. The building was turned back over to school authorities. Officers observed a large amount of vandalism involving, broken windows, destroyed classrooms, blinds torn off windows, main office ransacked and destroyed. The sprinkler system impacted between 10-12 classrooms that caused water damage.

Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations will now conduct an investigation into this incident. Request from the media to get closer to the school and or inside the school cannot be done due to the crime scene work being done by detectives. This may take several hours.

Agencies who assisted were Hamilton County Emergency Medical Services, Soddy Daisy Volunteer Fire Department, Red Bank Police Department SWAT and Dallas Bay Volunteer Fire Department.

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