Video credit: Parma Fire Department via their Facebook page
PARMA, Ohio (WJW) — Saturday morning, firefighters battled flames in the basement and first floor of a school in Parma while, thankfully, students were home for the weekend.
After an investigation, the Parma fire chief, the Parma Fire Prevention and Investigation Bureau, along with local police and state fire marshals, have ruled the fire was set on purpose and the event is classified as an arson.
Officials said dispatch received a call around 10 a.m. from maintenance workers about a fire at Saint Anthony of Padua Elementary School, 6800 State Road in Parma, according to a press release.
Firefighters forced entry into the building and began attacking the fire where flames were in several classrooms on the ground level. The classrooms involved in the fire were located directly above the basement fire area.
Mutual aid came from Seven Hills, Brooklyn Heights, Broadview Heights and Parma Heights first responders.
Parma Fire Chief Michael Lasky said, “The aggressive and effective attack to the seat of both fire areas prevented the spread of the fire to additional areas and classrooms.”
The school was unoccupied at the time of the fire and there are no reports of injuries to civilians or firefighters.
Damage estimates have not yet been made.
Officials are now asking that anyone with information regarding the incident to reach out to the State Fire Marshals tip line at 800-589-2728. Reward money may be available for those offering pertinent details leading to an arrest.