$7,500 Reward Offered for Information on St. Anthony of Padua Arson

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click to enlarge Inside St. Anthony's after the fire - Ohio Department of Commerce
Ohio Department of Commerce
Inside St. Anthony's after the fire

Authorities are asking the public to help identify the suspect(s) behind the Saturday, Feb. 19th arson at St. Anthony of Padua elementary school in Parma, a fire which caused more than $1 million in damage.

A reward of $7,500 is being offered and anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 216-252-7463 or Parma police detective Marc Karkan at 440-877-7322.

“During the course of my 27 years on the department, this is probably in the top five with the amount of damage that was done,” Parma fire chief Michael Lasky told Cleveland.com. “I’m going to say 60 percent of the building — classrooms, basement and gym — was damaged with the amount of smoke and water.”

The fire began in a basement closet and eventually drew the response of four local departments who worked for hours to contain the damage. While a 911 call at 9:53 a.m. that day first alerted authorities to the fire, Lasky estimated it had been burning for a few hours before the call was made.

“Right now, we’re hitting the community hard to step forward and help us out. Somebody has to know or had to see that this happened. We need help solving this," Lasky said.

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