On the afternoon of April 18, 1927, several people around town could smell smoke but couldn’t locate the source. Finally, at about 9 o’clock, G. W. Anderson discovered the school was burning. When discovered there were three or four separate fires in the building, which indicated the fire had been set – arson!
Fire departments from Richmond, Romeo, and Capac were summoned to help fight the fire. Entering the basement, the firemen smelled and spoke of an odor of kerosene. Flames from the basement went up the heat and ventilation shafts and ignited the roof. On the second floor, firemen found the curtains piled in the middle of the floor.
There had been several troublesome issues at the school over the previous few weeks. The superintendent’s contact was first extended and then he was fired; the student’s walked out on strike; the teaching staff resigned; a recently hired teacher was appointed superintendent and then resigned with the other staff; and a new superintendent and staff had been hired.