Apr 20, 2013 6:34 PM by Morgan Frances - MFrances@kristv.com
CORPUS CHRISTI - Investigators are trying to find out what started a fire at a vacant school last night.
"37 years ago I used to come to this school," said Juan Rodriguez as he watched an elementary school he once attended burn down. "It's bad," he said, "I mean, the school you used to go to come down this way is kind of sad."
Crossley Elementary School has been closed for a number of years and suddenly caught on fire Friday night just before 11:00 pm.
"The concern right now is the collapse of the building," said Corpus Christi Fire Department Captain James Brown Friday night. "We're having to move some of our equipment back a little further from the building," he said.
Captain Brown said the fire likely started somewhere on the second floor; with flames so close to the ceiling, the roof would likely collapse. As flames shot up through the top of the building, all firefighters could do was fight it defensively from from the outside of the building while, for 3 1/2 hours, people just watched as the old elementary school burned.
"Somebody had to start it," Rodriguez speculated, "that's the only way you can look at it."
Captain Brown says they're not sure how the fire started but apparently neighbors say they always see people walking in and out of the vacant building. Now, it's up to investigators to figure out what happened while the person who owns the old school works with code enforcement to clean up the ashes.