Flint, MI – The Flint Fire Department was called to a fire at the vacant Flint Northern High School building on the city’s north side around 6 p.m. on Oct. 8.

Officials said the fire was small and contained to one room in the building and Flint Community Schools officials were notified.

This is the second fire in less than a week for Flint Schools. On Oct. 7 Washington Community School caught fire in the early morning.

At noon that day, Flint fire officials said they were still working to put out the fire, but had contained it inside areas of the building built with brick.   

Washington Community School was built in 1921, marking this year as its hundredth anniversary.

Flint Community Schools closed the building in 2014 to address the district’s then $11 million budget deficit. It had been sitting abandoned since.

The fire completely destroyed the building and the Board of Education will decide how to move forward with the cleanup.

The Flint Fire Department battles a blaze at the former Washington Community School on the east side of Flint, Mich. in the early morning hours of Oct. 7, 2021. (Courtesy of Travis Ricketts)

Flint Northern closed in 2014 also due to the district’s budget deficit.

Over half of Flint schools have closed over the past decade due to declining student enrollment. Fewer students mean less state funding and the district has been unable to keep up with its finances. As it stands, the district faces an $18 million deficit.

In August, the Flint Community Schools Board of Education voted to sell some of its 22 vacant properties as part of a deficit elimination plan. Nine properties were listed on the district’s website by September. Washington Community School and Flint Northern High School are not among them.

https://flintbeat.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/IMG_3320.mov
The Flint Fire Department works to put out a fire at Flint Northern High School on the city’s north side. Firefighters were called to the school around 6 p.m. on Oct. 8. Officials said the fire was small and contained to one room.

Carmen Nesbitt

Carmen Nesbitt is a journalist with diverse experience in news reporting and feature writing. She wrote for Hour Detroit and SEEN Magazine before joining the Flint Beat news team as an education and public...

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5 Comments

  1. The photo looks to be of the newer Flint Northern built in the 70’s and not the old Northern HS on the northside.

  2. Flint is becoming a ghost town with more schools continuing to close and it is such a unreal NIGHTMARE! There are so few schools left open that I personally believe that the School BORED ZZZZZZ is no longer “needed”. They closed too many schools and it sucks! Flint was once FULL of schools and now we are down to a small handful! All these vacant schools are targets for arsonists!! Why can’t they be used for other things before they get jacked up by vandals?? This is not the Flint I grew up in anymore. No wonder more people leave from here for good!

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