Illinois State Fire Marshal investigating suspicious historic schoolhouse fire

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MACOUPIN COUNTY, IL – A piece of Macoupin County history went up in flames Saturday night, and it looks like an arsonist is to blame.

The fire was near Carlinville, Illinois where a schoolhouse is destroyed by fire.

The schoolhouse that stood since the 1920`s.

Scores of children who lived in this rural part of Macoupin County spent their days learning to read, write and do their arithmetic in the school.

But an arsonist has subtracted a familiar landmark, and that`s a loss for many.

It was referred to as the old Raferty School. For almost 100 years the wooden one-room schoolhouse stood on the corner of Finch and Rinaker Road in rural Macoupin County teaching grade schoolers.

Jim Wheeler once attended the schoolhouse and his father before him. Since the 1960`s it`s been closed. He later purchased the historic structure and sealed it up so vandals couldn`t do any damage to it or use it for storage.

But Saturday evening Macoupin County Sheriff’s Department got a call about a barn set on fire about five miles down the road. The Hettick Fire Department responded and was able to put out the fire and save the barn.

About an hour later a call went out for a fire at the schoolhouse. The Carlinville Fire Protection District was dispatched but was unable to save the building

The two suspicious fires were within five miles of each another and have the Illinois State Fire Marshal investigating.

If you know something about the 2 fires, you're urged to contact the Macoupin County Sheriff’s Department (217-854-3135) or the Macoupin County/ Montgomery County CrimeStoppers (800-352-0136).

You can remain anonymous.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.