WACO (July 31, 2014) A vandal set the fire that destroyed one storage shed and heavily damaged a second shed outside of the Midway ISD’s $600,000 agriculture barn early Thursday morning, Hewitt police Chief Jim Devin said.
The suspect spent time in the school district's agriculture barn before the fires broke out in the sheds outside.
The suspect vandalized a fan in the barn and the surveillance images show him hugging and petting, but not harming some of the animals inside.
The vandal set fire to the two storage sheds, which were built by students at a cost of $5,000 to $6,000 each, Midway ISD Superintendent Dr. George Kazanas said.
Police described the suspect as a tall white male with tattoos who was wearing a sleeveless black T-shirt known as a “wife beater,” and a ball cap.
The fire was reported at around 4:40 a.m. Thursday at the Midway ISD FFA Agricultural Science Instructional Facility at 10401 Panther Way.
Flames engulfed the sheds when the first crew arrived, Assistant Waco Fire Chief Patrick Kerwin said.
Hewitt firefighters arrived shortly afterward to assist in battling the flames.
Firefighters had the fire under control in less than 10 minutes but they didn’t leave the scene until after 6 a.m., Kerwin said.
Both buildings, approximately 10-by-12 feet in size, were used to store feed and hay, Kerwin said.
The barn and the storage sheds occupy a 20-acre site off Panther Way.
The 36,000-square foot barn, which includes pens for dozens of lambs, goats, pigs and cattle, was paid for with money left over from a $75.8 million bond issue in 2008.
Investigators are asking anyone with information about the fire to call Hewitt police at (254) 666-6272.