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Fire Destroys Old School

The former Isaac Dickson Elementary School was in the process of being demolished when crews accidentally sparked the blaze.

Firefighters were quick to stress this is not an active school campus, so students were never in danger.

The fire broke out mid morning with thick smoke visible for miles. Kelley Klope of the Asheville Fire Department says it began in the 60-year-old auditorium when workers cut through a steel beam, creating a spark leading to the fire. It quickly engulfed the building. It took more than 30 firefighters to put the fire out.

Klope says the cleanup will take time.

"You have to constantly dig through and drench the piles of debris and make sure it's fully extinguished," said Klope.

Klope says this evening firefighters and construction workers will continue to tear down the roof and remove highly combustible insulation.

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UPDATE: Fire in Downtown Asheville



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