Vandals wreak havoc on Bellingham school

BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- Vandals attacked a Bellingham elementary school over the weekend, forcing staff into emergency-cleanup mode on their day off.

The vandals broke into Wade King Elementary sometime late Saturday night or early Sunday morning and discharged 30 fire extinguishers throughout the building.

By the time the vandals left, many offices in the school looked like they were covered in snow. The fine white powder coated nearly everything, and custodians were even forced to vacuum the walls.

"To think that someone would come in here and deface our school is very disappointing," said assistant school superintendent Ron Cowan.

The vandals also damaged computers, spray-painted walls and scratched a swastika into a desk

"We're all in this together, but we need to catch the folks who did this," Cowan said.

As word of the crime spread, heartbroken teachers and parents showed up to see the damage themselves.

"Oh, it makes me sad that somebody would do that to it," said parent Jan Denoyer.

Principal Analisa Ficklin estimates the vandals hit about a fifth of the school, with the most damage caused by the fire extinguishers, which now have to be replaced.

What remains is the question of who would want to damage the school, as well as a desire to catch the culprits.

"It's really important. This is not okay, and we want the folks who did this apprehended and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," Cowan said.

The school district is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the vandal or vandals. The school is still calculating how much the repairs will cost.