Investigators said that because no electricity was running to the old Eureka School that the fire was considered to be suspicious. Firefighters from a dozen agencies battled the fire throughout the night and into early Wednesday morning. No one was injured.
Built in the 1920s, the school closed in 1991. The Heart of David Ministries Church purchased the building six years ago and had planned a major renovation project that was set to begin within a month.
"It was just all beginning to work out, but as you can see now, it's going to have to be a demo job instead of a rebuilding job," said church deacon Glenn Lancaster, who was also one of the first volunteer firefighters to arrive at the scene.
The flames from the fire stopped about 20 yards short of a temporary sanctuary that the congregation had built behind the school.
The estimated damage to the building was estimated to be in excess of $100,000, according to the Wayne County Sheriff's Office. Authorities have not yet determined the cause of the fire and are pursuing several leads.