WAR, W.Va. — More than three dozen volunteer firefighters in McDowell County expected to be on the scene for most of the day Friday battling a blaze moving through old Big Creek High School in War.

Fire authorities said it was too dangerous to battle the blaze from inside the old building.

Photo courtesy WVVA-TV

Fire authorities said it was too dangerous to battle the blaze from inside the old building.

The fire was reported at just after 5:30 a.m. Fire crews from War, Welch, Berwind and Coalwood were called to the scene. They attacked the blaze from the outside because of the unsafe conditions inside. An aerial attack was also used from a ladder truck.

The multi-story building sits in front Southside K-8.

“We’re just trying to get water established and protect the smaller school here because it’s the newest,” War VFD Chief Matthew Dash told WVVA-TV. “The was [old Big Creek High School] was up for demolition, it’s really to dangerous to go inside. We’ve got it knocked down pretty good from what it was this morning.”

The state Fire Marshal’s Office was called to the scene.

Big Creek High was closed several years ago as part of a school consolidation project. The school is where author and former NASA engineer Homer Hickam and his Rocket Boy friends graduated in 1960.