Cutting Torch Suspected Cause of Fire at U.Va.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) -- Fire officials believe a worker's cutting torch ignited a blaze that damaged a football practice facility under construction at the University of Virginia.

U.Va. spokesman McGregor McCance tells media outlets that a preliminary investigation shows the cutting torch ignited insulation in the structure's roof. The roof's rubber membrane caught fire and sent thick, black smoke over Charlottesville.

The fire broke out Monday around 12:30 p.m. There were no injuries.

The Charlottesville Fire Department says the fire's heat liquefied the roof's rubber membrane. Fire crews used sprinklers to water an adjacent field hockey field to protect it from burning rubber that dripped off the roof.

The 78,000 square foot, $13 million practice facility is scheduled to open next August.


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