Around 11:00 Sunday night, Floyd county officials say a fire broke out inside the Lockney High School.
Sheriff Paul Raissez says initial evidence reveals the blaze ignited in two different spots inside the two-story building, leading investigators to believe most likely someone set the the fire on purpose. The sheriff says, "We have some leads and some suspects in the case."
County fire officials, the State Fire Marshal's Office, and federal investigators with the ATF spent all day Monday on the scene trying to figure out exactly what triggered the fire. They were also looking for any evidence that might eventually lead them to any suspects. As they took care of the investigation, Lockney school officials had other work to do. Lockney Superintendent Phil Cotham says, "Everybody in this community who went to school in Lockney went to this high school ... It's got a lot of fond memories and all of that and it's gone overnight and now, we've got to rebuild and get our school back together and we'll do that." He adds, ""I've gotten calls all day. I've gotten messages from other superintendents that schools are wanting to help ... that's what schools around here do. That's what people around here do."
And with that in mind, he and others can't figure out why someone would cause this devastation, intentionally.
Cotham says, "Couldn't believe that someone would actually do that." The school district's Director of Technology Charles Keaton says, "I'm shocked someone would want to attack the heart and soul of the community."
Classes are canceled for all grade levels again on Tuesday. On Wednesday, elementary students will return to their normal campus. The Junior High will go to the First United Methodist Church in Lockney and the High School will hold classes at the First Baptist Church. We'll bring you more details on the exact cause of the fire as they become available.