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Historic schoolhouse burns

An early morning fire at 780 Old Lifsey Springs Rd. completely destroyed the old Lifsey Springs schoolhouse. On Nov. 12 at 2:44 a.m., Engine 3 from the Lifsey Springs fire station responded to the scene within four minutes of the 911 call. The historic home was built in the early 1800s to be used as a school house. It was abandoned for many years before it was renovated in the early 1940s by Martin Towery and his wife Eddie Towery who lived there for 60 years. Scott Brown bought the house at age 19 and was remodeling it. He works at TenCate and had installed sinks, countertop and was working on installing gas logs in the fireplace. He was awakened by his dogs to find the fire. ”I have two dogs, one is a miniature Dotson and the other one is just a mutt – she’s the one who woke me up,” he said. “I opened the door to my game room and saw flames, so I threw the dogs in their cage and put them on the truck. My phone was dead so I couldn’t call anybody. It burned up really quick.” Rosalee King lives across the street from the building and went to first through seventh grade there decades ago. ”It’s just right across the road and it scared me to death. My house was hot inside from the heat,” she said. “I started school there when I was 6 years old and I’m 93 now. The school was way over 100 years old because my mom Essie Bankston-Jones went to school there. We played all around the schoolhouse. Ellen McCard was my first teacher and some of the others were Mary Story, Martha Starling and Ethel Carter.”

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