Historic School Building Burns In DeSmet - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Historic School Building Burns In DeSmet

(Photo from KHQ's Gaby Fleischman) (Photo from KHQ's Gaby Fleischman)
(Photo uploaded to our KHQ Facebook wall) (Photo uploaded to our KHQ Facebook wall)

KHQ.COM - A historic building on the Coeur d'Alene Indian Reservation went up in flames early Thursday morning in DeSmet, Idaho.

Fire crews responded to the fire at about 3 a.m. and were unable to salvage the three-story building. It burned to the ground and took with it more than 100 years of memories in the DeSmet community.

The building was used as a boarding school back in the 1900's. Sister Dolores Elward was a student and teacher at the Mary Immaculate School.

"There's a lot of memories, a lot of people went to school here," said Elward. "I was thinking of all the things that happened in the different parts of the building."

After the school was closed in 1974 the Coeur d'Alene Tribe used it as an office for the Department of Education. When the building burned Thursday morning it was being used as a storage space. Because of its height, the building also held telecommunications equipment. Internet service for most of the area was cut because the tower was engulfed in flames during the fire.

Police have not yet begun their investigation to determine the cause of the fire because the building was still smoking this afternoon. But they believe the fire started in the basement at the back of the building.

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