Fire marshal: No evidence of foul play in Old Winona School fire

Published: Nov. 26, 2014 at 7:28 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 26, 2014 at 7:33 PM CST
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SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - The Smith County Fire Marshal said Wednesday that after extensive review of the Old Winona School fire case, no exact cause could be determined and foul play was not suspected.

The building caught on fire Nov. 23.

According to Smith County Fire Marshal Jay Brooks, investigators with the Smith County Fire Marshal's Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, assisted by the Winona Police Department and Winona Public Works Department, spent hours sifting through the debris and interviewing witnesses, but were unable to determine the exact cause of the fire due to the devastation of the structure and its components.

At this time there is no evidence of foul play. The building the fire originated in was secure and unoccupied at the time the fire started, Brooks said.

"We were looking at an evidence field nearly the size of a football field that had been reduced to nothing more than ashes and melted steel. While we always strive to come up with an answer to why and how fires start, sometimes it just isn't possible," Brooks said.

"It is a devastating event for the City of Winona to lose a building with so many cherished memories for the community." Brooks added.

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