St. Louis Post-Dispatch
ST. LOUIS — Fireworks were the likely cause of a fire on the roof of a shuttered, three-story high school here Saturday afternoon, firefighters say.
No one was hurt in the fire about 1 p.m. at Cleveland High School, 4352 Louisiana Avenue.
Responding firefighters extinguished flames on a small area of the roof by about 2 p.m., but had to force their way into the boarded-up building to raise a ladder to the roof and reach the flames, Capt. Garon Mosby said.
There were no materials found on the roof that would have indicated someone had been at the spot where the flames sprouted, Mosby said, leading firefighters to believe that a misfired firework was the likely cause. There are no utilities currently running at the building. Residents of the neighborhood told firefighters they had heard fireworks Saturday and in recent days, Mosby said.
“These things don’t start by themselves,” Mosby said. “It was more than likely started by an errant firework of some sort.”
A St. Louis ordinance bans the possession or use of fireworks within city limits.
Cleveland High School, built in 1915 and closed in 2006, has over 200,000 square feet and sits on about 10 acres. St. Louis Public Schools is listing it for sale for about $2 million.
The fire Saturday is the second at the abandoned school this year. In March, a three-alarm fire on the roof of the school brought 75 firefighters to the Dutchtown neighborhood to combat the flames.
The cause of that fire remains under investigation, Mosby said Saturday.
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