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Fire that gutted Shaker Heights elementary school ruled accidental

Posted at 1:58 PM, Sep 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-14 13:58:08-04

A fire that heavily damaged a nearly 100-year-old school building in Shaker Heights has been determined to be accidental.

The fire broke out on July 10 around 11 a.m. at Fernway Elementary School, 7420 Fernway Road.

According to an investigation conducted by the Shaker Heights Fire Investigation Unit, the fire was started by a "worker using a torch in which direct flame contact from the torch ignited the wood," or "a product failure with the tools and or materials being used."

The fire was discovered by crews working on the roof. Everyone was evacuated safely from the building. Due to summer break, no students were inside at the time when the fire ignited. 

RELATED: Shaker Heights School District releases statement following fire at Fernway Elementary

According to Shaker Heights Mayor's Office, the city will now take steps to determine if it will take any legal recourse in the wake of the fire. 

Crews continue to repair the gutted school.

RELATED: Fernway forever: Dozens of businesses donate to teachers affected by fire

You can read the full fire investigation report here: