Fire that engulfed Richmond school deemed accidental

July 2, 2022 GMT

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A nighttime blaze that engulfed a historic elementary school in Virginia’s capital city has been deemed “accidental” but the exact cause remains undetermined after a lengthy fire department investigation.

The Richmond Fire Department said in a statement Friday evening that the monthslong investigation into the William Fox Elementary School fire found “no evidence to support any deliberate or criminal act,” local news outlets reported.

The school built in 1911 in Richmond’s Fan District caught fire in February and suffered substantial damage. Students finished the year at a previously closed school after it underwent renovations.

The city’s school board has voted to repair the building.

The Richmond Fire Department would not provide a full copy of the report Friday evening, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. And school division spokespeople did not respond to the newspaper’s requests for comment.


Crews were called to the school late at night Feb. 11. A firefighter was hurt in the response but no other injuries were reported, according to the newspaper.

Officials previously disclosed that the building’s alarm system failed to contact 911. Instead, a passerby contacted the department reporting the sound of an alarm.