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Greenville School goes up in blaze

Jacob Bembry: Greene Publishing, Inc.

A fire destroyed the elementary school in Greenville on Wednesday afternoon, February 26, 1964.

Frank Merritt, the principal of the school, attributed the possible cause of the blaze to an overheated gas heater.

The fire left between 350 to 400 students temporarily without a school.

One of the school teachers was on the school grounds when the fire was noticed at approximately 5 p.m. The teacher observed smoke pouring out from under the roof.

All textbooks and the teachers’ registers were lost in the fire but few personal belongings had been left in the building when school let out for the day.

Greenville Police Officer Douglas Lee, along with Merritt, said there may have been some damage done to the masonry high school which stood approximately 100 feet away.

There were no fire hydrants near the school.

Fire equipment was sent from Madison and Monticello to battle the blaze.

School was suspended until Monday, March 1, 1964, for both the elementary and high schools affected by the flames.

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