TAMPA, Fla. - An electrical system failure resulting from Hurricane Irma damage caused the devastating fire that destroyed Robert E. Lee Elementary School, Tampa Fire Marshal John Reed said Wednesday.
The Sept. 12 fire originated in the attic space above room 208 and caused extensive damage throughout the building, said Reed, who ruled the fire as accidental.
The fire occurred after power was reinstated to the building, Reed said.
"In the elimination process used to identify the fire's point of origin and probable cause, the fire debris was examined and other possible ignition sources at or near the area of origin was examined and eliminated," Reed said in a statement. "The only competent ignition source available at the time of this origin and cause investigation was that of an electrical failure likely contributed to by building damage sustained during a hurricane. These findings are supportive of an accidental fire."