Fire engulfs historic Mineral ES in Louisa

Published: Sep. 30, 2015 at 9:16 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 10, 2015 at 11:03 AM EDT
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LOUISA, VA (WWBT) - Firefighters are still working to completely snuff out a massive fire that consumed the historic Mineral Elementary School in Louisa County, Monday night. The fire was so intense, crews allowed it burn out widely on its own, while also containing it with water.

Flames more than 20 feet high jutted from the roof of the 105-year-old building. Smoke billowed into the air, as the fire continued to smolder in areas twelve hours after the flames broke out at 7 p.m. Monday evening. The building was packed with books, which continued to fuel the fire.

"That added to the fire load. Access to the fire was also hard, due to the roof collapsing in…on top of all the books, which made it extremely hard to extinguish," said Assistant Fire Chief Eric Harlowe, of the Mineral Volunteer Fire Department.

Thankfully, no firefighters were injured, or nearby homes or buildings affected. Firefighters say it could take several more hours before all of the hotspots are completely out. They're investigating the cause of the fire.

The school has been closed for several decades. Neighbors say the building's owners, who live out of state, hoped to use it as a library or historical museum or sorts for the mass amount of books they kept there.

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