Fire destroys building near Arkansas middle school

Investigators said a lawnmower sparked a Thursday morning fire that completely destroyed an athletic building near a school in Wheatley, Arkansas.

Wheatley Police Chief, Donald Parkham said the fire started just after 10:00 a.m. at Palestine-Wheatley Middle School.

Firefighters from Wheatley, Brinkley and Palestine joined forces for just under two hours to bring the fire, located in a field house near the school, under control.

Parkham said a person mowing a nearby football field on school grounds noticed oil leaking from the mower and went to go call his boss.  The mower then exploded and, catching the field house on fire.

The fire, according to Parkham, was not suspicious.

In early 2006, a gymnasium at Palestine-Wheately Middle School caught fire.  Police eventually charged an eight-grade student with starting the blaze.  Damage from that fire is still being repaired.

You can see raw video of the fire, taken from Chopper 5, in the video player on this page.

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