WEST MONROE (4/14/19)– Charred doors propped up by two dilapidated walls of crumbling brick.
That’s all that remains of what once was the front entrance of Boley Elementary School in West Monroe.
“I’m devastated, it’s just something that we never thought we would see. It was…horrible,” said Principal Sandy Bates.
A horrific scene it was on Saturday night, as smoke billowed from the roof, the school completely engulfed by flames.
All that’s left of the school is a shell of what it once was. Smoke still permeating the air Sunday morning, ash scattered across the parking lot and rubble is all that’s left.
Bricks that once kept the school standing strong, now lay in piles of debris.
The books, school supplies, and classrooms the student’s were taught in, reduced to ash and soot.
The culprit behind the inferno–believed to be mother nature herself.
“We do believe this fire is going to end up being weather related. Whether it’s due to a lightening strike–we had a couple of accounts from local residents about lightening in the area,” said Charlie Simmons, PIO with the West Monroe Fire Department.
No one was injured in the blaze, but the fire has taken an emotional toll on the community, especially those who have so many beloved memories there.
“I was our mascot here when I was four, my brother and sister went to school here. My daddy taught and coached and was assistant principal here. It’s my life,” said Bates.
As the students, faculty and community try to come to terms with this unexpected devastation, Principal Bates wants them to know one thing.
“We are going to start a new adventure, we are going to make something good out of the bad.”
Superintendent Dr. Don Coker says students will be excused for the rest of the week.
They will notify parents on Wednesday of official plans for students once they return from the Easter holiday.
Tomorrow — everyone is encouraged to wear purple in support of Boley Elementary.