Historic Clarksburg school demolished

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Clarksburg, Ill (WAND) – The demolition of a 19th century school in Shelby County has stirred up a lot of emotions and smoke.

“I am so upset about this,” Clarksburg resident Abbi Mars told WAND News.

The Clarksburg schoolhouse is believed to be the last two-room wooden school in Illinois.  Its doors opened in 1892. 

The Clarksburg Township board made the decision to demolish the aging structure.  It tore the school town and it then caught fire.

The Shelbyville Fire Department was pouring water on what was left of the school at midday.  The departments fire chief declined to speak on-camera but said township workers told him after the school was torn down they were burning some brush and debris when the torn down school caught fire.

Mars tells WAND she fought to save the school hoping it could be restored.  She took pictures of people removing items from the school on Sunday evening.  She then called the fire department Monday morning when she saw the structure burning.

Mars says she was concerned about the thick smoke blowing across fields in the area saying she believes the school had toxic asbestos.  The Shelbyville Fire Department says it does not know what was in the building.

“They put every citizen of Clarksburg and Clarksburg Township at risk doing this,” Mars stated.

Mars also expressed concerns the demolition may have been done without bids.

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