• Ariel Tull

The Fire of 1981

Many students are unaware of Columbus High School’s hot history. In the year 1981, CHS was set on fire.


The fire was far from small; it engulfed and devoured the entire middle area of the school, including the auditorium.


According to WTVM News Leader 9, “Firefighters could do little to stop the inferno.”


Although no one was injured during the fire, the aftermath was devastating. The damage led to two years worth of reconstruction for Columbus High School.


Several news sources confirm that the fire was not an accident. Arson, the act of purposely setting things on fire, was the cause of the inferno.


The penalties for crimes like arson are serious, so it may come as a shock to hear that an arrest was not made. Mrs. McConnell, a teacher with good knowledge of CHS history, explains that a student set the school on fire in a fit of rage.


The only thing that stood between the student and jail time was his parents.


“His family sent him to Europe,” McConnell explained with wide eyes.


The lack of an arrest didn’t make much of a difference for Columbus High School. The school county’s insurance was able to cover the cost of all repairs necessary to build a new structure.


Today, the school has only certain parts that are truly from the foundation. Much of Columbus High School has been updated or replaced.


The Fire of 1981 left its mark on Columbus High school as one of the worst disasters to take place on campus.


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