On Tuesday night, firefighters were dispatched to a blaze at a magnet school in Tampa, FL that caught fire in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
The historic school had been the target of extreme wrath from the leftist Taliban because it bore the name of the Confederate general whose statues have been targeted for cultural cleansing.
The fire occurred during the process of restoring power to the area.
Hundreds of thousands of people are still in the dark across Tampa Bay after being spared the full fury of Irma which took a sudden and unexpected turn and mowed into Naples on Sunday.
Flames consuming Robert E. Lee Elementary in Tampa Heights https://t.co/bz6TCAq9di
— TBO.com (@TBOcom) September 13, 2017
Tampa Bay Online reports “Flames consume 111-year-old Robert E. Lee Elementary in Tampa Heights”:
Robert E. Lee Elementary School is no more.
The oldest magnet school in Hillsborough County, which some school board members were trying to rename as part of a nationwide movement to remove Confederate symbols, burned down on Tuesday night as hundreds of residents watched and children cried.
“Lord have mercy, Jesus,” said Erica Claitt, whose 9-year-old niece attended the school until recently. “It’s a historical school.”
The school at 305 E Columbus Dr. was built in 1906 and was now called the Lee Elementary Magnet School of World Studies and Technology. Its 330 students and 49 staffers haven’t been in school this week because all Hillsborough County schools were closed in advance of Hurricane Irma.
The school was not used as a shelter during Irma, which residents said knocked out power in the surrounding neighborhoods. Power was restored Tuesday evening, residents said, then they saw smoke coming from the roof and fire engines racing in.
The fire was reported at 6:46 p.m., and firefighters were on scene five minutes later. The neighborhoods soon lost power again.
Crowds gathered for blocks around and watched firefighters try to tamp down the blaze from afar. They set up three water cannons on the ground and used ladder trucks to aim two more from above.
Flames could be seen shooting out of the second floor windows of the three-story building as streams of water were poured onto the crumbling roof, which was brand-new. The building also has hardwood floors, adding to the kindling.
“I’m in awe,” said Bia Harris, who was house-sitting for a friend across Columbus Drive. “It’s incredible. Devastating, but incredible.”
Tampa Fire Rescue spokesman Jason Penny said t
he first firefighters to arrive quickly called in more units.
“When firefighters arrived, they found heavy smoke and flames coming out of the north side roof of the building,” he said. “They started fighting the fire and the incident commander immediately decided that they needed to call a second alarm to bring in more units — in particular, aerial units, because this is a three-story, brick building.”
More fire units responded. But then the roof collapsed on the northeast side of the building, and the incident commander decided to pull back the firefighters and go into “defensive” mode to contain the blaze.
Penny said the fire did not appear to be suspicious, but the investigation had not yet started.At this time, the fire is not being viewed as arson but as authorities have noted, the investigation has not yet begun.
Considering the animosity that has been fomented by the left towards any building that has a confederate name – the Southern Poverty Law Center even made maps available – it seems like a mighty strange coincidence that this particular school would burn down.
Natural disasters are a perfect cover for crimes and it is possible that the fire was the result of something other than the restoration of power. It’s not like the lights don’t go out on occasion in Tampa with all of the lightning strikes and inclement weather.
Coincidence or arson, it doesn’t matter one bit to the leftists who will be dancing in the ashes now that Robert E. Lee Elementary is no more.