Abandoned school burns

Yoakum Fire Department is investigating a suspected arson Thursday morning at the former Park Place School at the intersection of Pat Cleburne and Elenora streets. The three-story, brick structure has not been used as a school since about 1957, and was in the beginning stages of being demolished, said Fire Chief Mark Herchek. The floor was falling through and the ceiling had already collapsed. With no electricity, water or gas connections at the building, Herchek said all signs point to arson. "It wasn't a great loss to the community because it's something we were trying to get rid of anyway," Herchek said. "If I had to guess, some kids were playing in it." The uninsured structure is owned by Lucas and Heather Brownlee, of Tonasket, Wash. The department responded shortly after 3 a.m. and cleared the scene about 6 a.m. Contributed Photo by Yoakum Fire Department