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Newport Beach Police Department
Monday November 14th, 2016 :: 01:33 p.m. PST


Press Release: NBPD Seeks Public’s Assistance in Arson and Vandalism Investigations at Local School

On Friday, November 11, 2016 shortly after 4:30 a.m., the Newport Beach Police and Fire Departments were notified of a fire at Ensign Middle School.  The first police officer on scene observed that the school’s gym was engulfed in flames.  Personnel and apparatus from the Newport Beach Fire Department, Orange Fire Department, Orange County Fire Authority, and Garden Grove Fire Department responded to the location and knocked down the main fire within 20 minutes.  Because the flames had spread into a wall chase and then up into the attic space, extended fire attack efforts lasted approximately one hour. 
In total, 20 firefighters were involved in fighting the blaze, which was contained to the area of the gym, girls’ locker room, and physical education offices.  No injuries were reported during the incident.  Students were not expected on campus Friday, due to the Veterans Day holiday.
Fire Department personnel reported that the circumstances of the fire appeared to be suspicious and an arson investigation was initiated.  NBPD Detectives documented instances of vandalism to the school that were not present when classes were dismissed the previous afternoon.  At this time, it is unknown if the vandalism and fire are related.
The Newport Beach Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in this investigation.  We believe that the vandalism occurred at some time between the end of school on Thursday afternoon and the time the fire was reported early Friday morning.  Anyone who may be able to provide additional information on this case, or who saw suspicious persons or activity around the school during this time frame, is encouraged to contact Sergeant Bryan Moore at 949-644-3763 or

Newport Beach Police Department
870 Santa Barbara Dr
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Emergency: 9-1-1

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