UPDATE: Adults accused of burning historic school plead not guilty
Two of the four people charged, Cody Kirk and Cameron Speigle, pled not guilty in their first court appearance
UPDATE 5:35 P.M. MAY 31, 2022:
SCOTT COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – Four people now charged in connection to a fire that burned down the old Sadieville School in Scott County. Two adults entering not guilty pleas Tuesday in court. Two other juveniles have also been charged and are being held at the Fayette County Regional Juvenile Detention Center.
The sheriff’s office says the adults confessed to breaking into the school and then setting fire to it. Two men arrested, Cody Kirk and Cameron Speigle, were charged with burglary and arson.
According to Kirk’s arrest report, he and his friends went into the school where they found a torch. Then reportedly shoved paper into it, lit it on fire and threw it onto a table where the fire grew. The arrest report says Kirk tried to put out the fire, unsuccessfully.
“Sadieville Elementary was just the heart of that community. Once it left, it kind of changed Sadieville,” says Georgetown Fire Department Assistant Chief Tim Thompson. “It was completely engulfed.”
Sadieville Elementary was just two years shy of turning 100 years old and while the school has been abandoned for more than 30 years, many say it held a special place in their hearts.
“It’s been kind of a full circle for me. Went from going there to actually was the person who had to condemn the building, just for the risk involved with it,” says Thompson. “Then just having to go and see it up in flames, it was just surreal and sad.”
Joyce Mullins went to Sadieville Elementary for kindergarten through fifth grade. She says she went back to the school a couple years ago to reminisce about her childhood.
Mullins took some photos during that visit. One shows a mural of children playing she remembered from when she was a student in the 80’s.
Other photos show classrooms still full of old chairs and desks, basketball hoops still hanging and the velvet curtains on the school’s stage, all untouched before the fire.
Mullins says she’s heartbroken the school was burned down as she had a lot of great memories from the building. Many who graduated from and loved Sadieville Elementary say they want answers and justice.
Kirk and Speigle are due back in court in July 14th.
Story update from 9:47 p.m. on May 30, 2022:
SADIEVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – Investigators say two adults and two juveniles were arrested on Memorial Day in connection to a fire that destroyed the old Sadieville School in Scott County overnight.
The Scott County Sheriff’s Office says Cody Kirk and Cameron Speigle confessed to breaking-in to the abandoned school and setting it on fire. The names of the two juveniles arrested and charged were not released due to their ages. They were taken to the regional juvenile detention center in Lexington, according to deputies.
Deputies say tips and a day long investigation by the sheriff’s office and the Scott County Fire Department’s arson investigator led them to the suspects, who were charged with Arson 2nd Degree and Burglary 3rd Degree.
The investigation continues.
Original story below from 2:35 p.m. on May 30, 2022:
SADIEVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – An historic school in Sadieville burned down overnight.
Early Monday morning, the Scott County Fire Department responded to a fire at the old Sadieville School.
The Sheriff’s Office posting video of the scene on its Facebook page.
According to the City of Sadieville, the abandoned school would have turned 100 years old in 2024.
Neighbors in the area tell ABC 36, the school burned for hours beginning around 2:00 a.m.
Video Courtesy: Scott County Sheriff’s Office.