Sandy Cross School burns, considered suspicious

An overnight fire on Sunday night in Franklin County has destroyed the old Sandy Cross School. Multiple fire stations responded to the blaze, which resulted in the destruction of the historic building.

According to Sandy Cross Fire Chief Ronnie Roach, fire departments received the call about midnight. Three area departments, Sandy Cross, Franklin Springs and Bold Springs Volunteer Fire Departments responded to the call. Also responding were Franklin County EMS, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Firefighters had the fire under control and most were able to leave the scene about four hours later. The building was still smoldering more than 12 hours after the fire was first reported.

No injuries were reported, according to Roach.

Roach also said the fire inspectors had already visited the scene but the cause of the fire was still undetermined. Glenn Allen, the spokesperson for Insurance and Safety Fire Inspector Ralph Hudgens, said, We consider this a suspicious fire and Commissioner Hudgens is asking anyone with information about what started this fire to call 800-282-5804,” Allen said.

The building had once been an orphanage, later a school, and most recently served as a community center. There were also rumors the building was haunted, likely the spirits of children purported to have been abused while the building served as an orphanage.

Governor Sonny Perdue also met with area officials at the building during his tenure as Georgia’s top elected official.