Gronk, Bucs replacing equipment lost in fire at HS

TAMPA, Fla. — Tight end Rob Gronkowski has been a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for just over a month, but he’s already making an impact on the Tampa Bay community.

Gronkowski got word of a fire that broke out at Blake High School in Tampa on May 16. The fire destroyed an athletics storage shed filled with nearly all of the school’s football equipment. It included pads, field markers, pylons, tackling dummies and other game-day equipment — worth approximately $11,000, according to Tampa Fire Rescue — devastating the program.

Gronkowski and the Buccaneers Foundation both reached out to the school to see how they could help.

“To the Blake High School Yellow Jackets, you’re getting a brand new storage unit and new football equipment to replace everything that was lost,” Gronkowski said in a video posted on the Bucs’ Twitter page.

Blake High School is now getting a replacement for the 10-by-20 shed, along with all necessary football equipment. The Gronk Youth Foundation and Bucs Foundation split the cost.

A juvenile confessed to starting the fire and was arrested last week. The juvenile was charged with two counts of second-degree arson and one count of burglary, Tampa Fire Rescue said. It declined to name the juvenile, given the person’s age.