By Emory Bryan, The News On 6
STILWELL, OK -- Fire destroyed an elementary school in Adair County on Friday. It happened before the start of classes in the small community of Greasy, which is south of Stillwell.
"The roof was collapsed on both buildings, so there wasn't a whole lot we could save in that," said Greasy Fire Chief Jody Fletcher.
Just about everyone in the community attended kindergarten through 8th grade in the buildings that burned, and about 75 students enrolled this year.
"This is where they were going to get their education; this is where we expected the next generation to graduate," said former student Melissa Stahl.
Investigators were on the scene taking pictures, but the smoldering buildings were too hot to go inside.
The fire had caused so much damage by the time they arrived; it's going to make the investigation more difficult. The fire marshal's office responded, but it could be several weeks before they're able to determine if the fire was an accident or arson.
The when, where and why the fire started are unknown. What's next for the school, according to the superintendent, is certain.
"If I have to sit at Wal-Mart with bake sales every Saturday we will rebuild. This is a catastrophe, but it's not the end of Greasy Schools. This is a bump in the road, I'll admit it's a big bump, but it's just a bump in the road," said Greasy Superintendent David Eads.
While the superintendent was making plans, the students and teachers gathered at the community building just down the road to play softball. The game was already planned for Friday and the fire wasn't enough to stop the people of Greasy from showing up to support their school.
The superintendent says portable buildings will be moved in as soon as the old building is demolished. In the meantime, classes will resume Tuesday or Wednesday at the community building and nearby fire department.