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Big fires, no causes

UPDATE: Three months after the LPS fire, police have made an arrest in the case of a 44-year-old school employee now accused of arson. Read the story here.

The scene after a fire destroyed a downtown adult store, Romantix.

Am I the only one kind of amazed that we may never know what caused the last two major fires we’ve had in Lincoln — the school district headquarters and an adult store downtown?

A cause was never determined on the fire that destroyed a downtown adult store called Romantix. The city’s chief fire inspector, Bill Moody, said, “111 days and the Nebraska winter was not kind to us.” Evidence was recovered, but not conclusive.

And the school superintendent, Steve Joel, told a radio show host today that they still have no idea what caused the fire that took down the LPS headquarters and that it will be a long investigation.

It seems incredible to me that we can’t figure out what caused such disastrous fires, when inspectors in California can pinpoint the cause of major wildfires — down to a thrown cigarette butt. Anybody able to enlighten me? I’m all ears.

Good story for an enterprising young (or old) reporter to tackle.

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