Vacant St. Louis Elementary School Hit by Blaze

St. Louis firefighters tackled a four-alarm blaze at the former Hempstead School.


A section of a vacant school in north St. Louis collapsed during a four-alarm fire Saturday.

St. Louis firefighters were called for smoke from the roof of the former Hempstead School in the 5800 block of Minerva. 

Crews encountered smoke and flames from the vacant three-story building. 

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As the incident escalated, 100 firefighters from St. Louis, Richmond Heights and University City were battling the fire, according to a release from the fire department.

“It’s just sad. It’s your school, your old school,” former student Janil Davis told KMOV-TV.

According to the fire department, there were preliminary reports of a lightning strike.