Fire Sparks Memories After Destroying Abandoned School

YELL COUNTY, Ark.-- A rural central Arkansas fire department is trying to figure out what or who set the flames that destroyed an abandoned yet "historic" school. 

Locals said Carden Bottom School located in rural Yell County about a 25-minute drive from Dardanelle was built in the 1930s but closed in the 60s. 

Some people think ghosts haunt the abandoned school building. 

The Galla Rock Fire Chief James Holt said the place brings many emotions and memories back to the community. 

Some people remember going to school there. Other people remember checking out the closed school as a teenager. 

Trees covered a small area around the building, yet fields surround the larger area. 

Holt told our reporter Price McKeon that for a place that seems so forgotten it has so many memories. 

The Galla Rock fire department responded to the fire fully engulfing the building around 2 a.m. Monday morning. 

The chief said the person who called 911 lived miles away but could still see the fireball. 

Before the firefighters put up the caution tape, we first met the department at Centerville's country story. 

We drove about 15 with them down dirt roads to the school building. 

The school shut its doors about 5 decades ago and was left "as is."

A Central Arkansas photographer Zack Anderson gave us photos he said he took of the school less than 24 hours before the fire started. 

Anderson said he went to the building to take photos of the history inside for his photography business called "LowLyfe Photography."

Chief James Holt said, "So it's gone now. It's kind of sad to everybody. It's sad to me. I wish it could've been preserved years ago."

Galla Rock firefighters put up caution tape to make sure people stayed out of the destroyed building for their safety. 

Anyone with information should the Galla Rock Fire Department or the Yell County Sheriff's Office. 


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