STANFORD, Ky. (WKYT) – A major fire destroyed a Lincoln County school and part of its Board of Education building Wednesday forcing officials to delay the start of the new school year.
The fire broke out just after noon Wednesday at the school district's office on Danville Avenue in Stanford.
The Stanford fire chief says it's too early to tell how this fire started but what began with a lot of smoke in the building grew into a fire that destroyed a large part of the decades old building.
"My entire office is in there with all of my work. Obviously this is of a heightened interest to me and to all of us who work there so we just had to be here," said Pam Hart, an employee with the district.
It took firefighters several hours to put out the fire that had flames shooting from the roof of the historic building.
"Several people have walked up to me and said, 'I went to school here. This is my old school,'" said Lincoln County school Superintendent Karen Hatter.
Before it housed the board of education, the building was Stanford School and then Stanford Elementary.
Officials believe the fire started in the former cafeteria where school records dating back 100 years were stored.
"Old books with their school records. Grades. We verified peoples birthdays for them. Almost every day we got a request," said Hatter.
The first day of school was to be Thursday but that is being delayed. Officials say they will make a determination later if the school year can start Monday.
Fire investigators believe there was a power surge just before the fire, but they are not sure if that had anything to do with the cause.
Even in the midst of the tragic event, some were still able to look through the black smoke and see the silver lining.
“You have to count your blessings. There’s a loss but it's only a physical loss no human loss and that’s the most important thing,” Pam Hart said.
The McKinney Water District is asking all of its customers to conserve water, because of the fire. The district's customers are also under a boil water advisory until further notice.