Floyd County authorities remained tight-lipped Monday night about a person of interest identified in the suspected case of arson at Lockney High School.
Meanwhile, volunteer fire crews remained on the scene to douse flare-ups, more than 24 hours after investigators suspect someone intentionally set the blaze. "One of the city patrolmen came by the school and said they could see smoke," Floyd County Sheriff Paul Raissez said.
Lockney Police first noticed the fire around 11 p.m. Sunday, but Raissez says someone may have intentionally set the blaze hours before that. "It started on the second floor and just moved across to the north and came down to the first floor of the building," Raissez said.
NewsChannel 11 obtained exclusive home video that shows the intensity of the fire, as flames ripped through the building.
When students heard their school was on fire, they came to help. "Take things out of the junior high for now," a Lockney student said. When daylight arrived, students held a prayer service while volunteer fire crews from Lockney and Floydada continued to battle the blaze.
"Classes will resume for everyone on Wednesday morning," Lockney ISD Director of Technology Charles Keaton said. The district found temporary classrooms by mid-afternoon. Students helped set up at First United Methodist Church for the junior high, and First Baptist Church for the high school. "It's unreal to think that somebody would do this to what is the heart and soul of this community," Keaton said.
By Monday night, flames continued to break out inside the hollowed-out shell of the high school. Meanwhile, students and neighbors continued to watch, in disbelief. "Right now we can't say anything for sure. We've all heard different rumors and we just hope and pray everything turns out for the best," a Lockney student said.
School leaders say they did cancel a junior high basketball game Monday night, but they plan to continue as scheduled for the junior high and high school basketball seasons.
1/12/09 Possible Person Of Interest In Lockney High School Fire Some parts of the school have reignited, but officials remain on the scene to put out any hot spots. At this hour, authorities say the fire may be arson and are following up leads. NewsChannel 11's Julia Bruck has more.
1/12/09 Lockney Fire Brings Community Together While fire destroyed Lockney High School, it also brought the community together. For one family, Lockney High holds decades of memories. NewsChannel 11's Ann Wyatt Little spent the day in Lockney and has more.