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August 3, 2011


Big fires, no causes

by Deena Winter

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.

Read more from Lincoln Life
11 Comments Post a comment
  1. theQuietMan
    Aug 3 2011

    Budget money and equipment. Anytime any agency in Lincoln wants new equipment such a hue and cry is raised that it isn’t worth the effort.

  2. Fletch
    Aug 3 2011

    I am not sure I believe that they don’t know the cause of the LPS fire. I have a hunch (and have heard rumblings) that they know the cause and pretty much the exact spot the fire started, but don’t want to say it publicly to protect an employee (not the employee who was there and reported the fire). I don’t think they’d want public (or peer) blame and scorn pointed toward any one person or small group of persons for such a large event.

  3. jim
    Aug 3 2011

    Ask old mother Leary??????

  4. jim
    Aug 3 2011

    How about the old machine shed of BN by the arena area? I bet that sped thing up for the construction.

    • Aug 3 2011

      You’re right, the cause of that one was also “undetermined.”

  5. Well well
    Aug 3 2011

    you have to remember the Romantix fire was the day before the City Council was to vote on the firefighter raises. Mmmmmmmm

  6. paul mike grieger
    Aug 3 2011

    In Chicago…We call it “greek Lighting” it usually occurs Sunday nite.
    no detector, no alarm system
    beyond words to me…
    we, now have the deductable to pay.
    the annual lease payments @ 16 Dollars @ sq foot vs . zero.
    but,” what about the kids” ,the administration wasted this money by being inept.

  7. Buzz
    Aug 3 2011

    I”m sure that Tom Cassidy, in his new position which oversees the firemen, at a salary of $150,000 will be able to get an answer to these questions.

  8. Dale gribble
    Aug 11 2011

    See that a disastrous fire for an undetermined cause can’t keep you from getting a raise and glowing reviews around here

  9. ej
    Aug 15 2011

    Fletch knows people. Looks like they may have been taking their time to make sure they got it right:

  10. George
    Aug 16 2011

    I’m glad we didn’t speculate, make things up, point fingers, act paranoid and hint at conspiracy on this one! I mean, had that happened, so much egg on face would be had by all!


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