Officials: Reports of children entering old school, arson invest - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Officials: Reports of children entering old school, arson investigation underway

(PHOTO COURTESY: MICHELLE DUNCAN) (PHOTO COURTESY: MICHELLE DUNCAN)
(PHOTO COURTESY: CLOTA CANTRELL ELLERMAN) (PHOTO COURTESY: CLOTA CANTRELL ELLERMAN)
(PHOTO COURTESY: CLOTA CANTRELL ELLERMAN) (PHOTO COURTESY: CLOTA CANTRELL ELLERMAN)

An old high school building caught fire late Saturday night in White County, Illinois, and authorities are ruling it as arson.

Officials say the fire in the old Grayville, IL High School started around 10:00 Saturday night and it took several agencies to get it under control.

Authorities say they saw some children running from the building before the fire broke out.

Little Wabash Fire Chief, Rob Spencer says power and other utilities haven't been supplied to the building for several years now.

He was involved in the beginning stages of the arson investigation that took place on Sunday and he says that multiple fires were started in the building at the same time on Saturday night.

Spencer says local residents tell him that they saw juveniles around the old high school during the day. He was also told residents saw the juveniles leaving the building about 30 minutes before it went up in flames.

Spencer says he called in 10 different departments for mutual aid and he had three of them actually battling the fire.  

Because so much water was being used, the water pressure from the hydrants was low. Spencer says water eventually had to be taken from the river, a process that he says he very time consuming but also necessary.

Spencer says none of the surrounding buildings were damaged and that the fire was under control by about 5:00 Sunday morning.  

Tune in to 14 News tonight at 10 to hear from the people who at one time were students at the high school, a high school that is now considered to be a total loss.

Copyright 2013 WFIE. All rights reserved.

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