HAZLETON — Cash, copper pipes, and security cameras are missing after a fire at a former Catholic school now home to a business in Hazleton.
Fire officials say there’s so much damage, they may never know if the fire and break-in are coincidence or something more.
Fire officials were inside the Hazleton Sports Academy Fusion on North Wyoming Street. They’re investigating what caused flames to rip through the place Tuesday night. The Sports Academy catered to children to teach them basketball, soccer, cycling, and track and field.
Dan Cunningham owns the business.
“I was planning on expanding to have birthday parties, summer day camp and you just can’t win.” Cunningham said.
Cunningham’s fiance, Edna Myers said the damage is heartbreaking.
“Very sad hopefully we can do something else and open it back up but I don’t know if it’s going to be in the same location. It’s just very sad.”
Fire officials say the blaze was certainly hot. Although the fire was 75 feet away plastic was melted.
Deputy Fire Chief Shawn Jones said investigators know someone broke into the Sports Academy but aren’t sure what sparked the fire because of the amount of damage.
“Is it a fire to cover up the crime, we’re not really sure or was it an accidental fire,” Jones explained.
Dan Cunningham, owner of the academy, told police a cash box, copper pipes, and a DVD recorder connected to security cameras were taken.
“Why do something like this? Nobody, nobody wins, the kids are the ones getting hurt,” Cunningham said
Police continue their investigation, if you have any information about the burglary or the fire, they’d like to hear from you.