Fire Destroys Tampa Elementary School

Sep 13, 2017

A fire has destroyed a Tampa elementary school that was in a neighborhood that had just had power restored after Hurricane Irma hit the state.

The fire at Robert E. Lee Elementary Magnet School of World Studies and Technology was first reported Tuesday evening around 6:45 p.m.

Tampa Fire Rescue spokesman Jason Penny told the Tampa Bay Times that the first firefighters to arrive quickly called in more units. More units responded, but eventually the roof on the northeast side of the three-story brick building collapsed.

The school had been closed this week because of the hurricane. It was built in 1906 and was the oldest magnet school in Hillsborough County. Some school board members were trying to rename the school as part of a nationwide movement to remove Confederate symbols.

Penny said the fire didn't appear suspicious, but that it would be investigated. He said investigators were considering whether the fire could be linked to restoration of electrical power in the area.

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