Arlington Police recognize high school custodian for protecting students and staff

Arlington Police recognize high school custodian for protecting students and staff
Award of CommendationThe Arlington Police Department recognized Arlington High School Custodian, Jim Eldridge, for his quick actions in extinguishing a fire at the high school on Oct. 22, 2019. The fire was caused by a homemade explosive device that detonated in one of the boys’ bathrooms.

“Jim was in the hallway outside the bathroom when the device detonated,” said Arlington High School Principal, Duane Fish. “He saw smoke in the bathroom and immediately grabbed a fire extinguisher and put out the flames. By quickly putting out the fire, he prevented it from spreading. He really gave us invaluable time to respond and to keep everyone calm.”

Students sheltered in place while law enforcement searched the building after the detonation. Students then evacuated to the stadium and were bused to Haller Middle School where they were reunited with their families.

“Jim’s quick action in initially extinguishing the fire, provided the opportunity for the school to release students and staff as safely as possible,” said Arlington Police Chief, Jonathan Ventura.

Eldridge was recognized with an Award of Commendation during the department’s annual meeting and awards dinner on Jan. 24. The Award of Commendation is in recognition for acts of heroism, meritorious achievement or meritorious service.