A nearly century-old elementary school in Exira, Iowa was finally set on fire Sunday morning as a way to save money and give firefighters a training exercise.
About 100 firefighters from a dozen departments participated in the controlled burn that had to be postponed twice due to bad weather. Most of the large brick building's interior was burned within two hours.
Dozens of residents gathered across the street to watch the blaze. Some called the burning bittersweet. Others said the building, which closed in 2011, needed to come down for safety reasons.
The Exira Elk Horn-Kimballton Community School District says the controlled burn saved up to $60,000 in demolition costs while offering critical training to area firefighters.
Exira is about 60 miles west of Des Moines.