Willcox community pulls together to shoulder burden of school fire

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Willcox, Ariz. -- Students, teachers and the entire Willcox community are trying to move forward after a devastating late night fire that destroyed the city's high school.

All was quiet on the Willcox high school campus Thursday. A small pond of hose water, and yellow tape are both signs of a devastating fire that started in the school's attic Tuesday night.

"I looked and nothing but orange and red," said Willcox Junior Mikayla Aguilar.

Mikayla saw the flames from her house, flames that firefighters battled for nearly 12-hours straight.

A fence surrounds the school's destroyed main building.

After cheerleading practice, Mikayla surveyed the damage.

"I was very devastated. I can't believe that the fire actually caused this much destruction. It's horrible," said Mikayla.

"It's just a devastating thing to see things go up in flame and people's life work go down before them," said Principal Doris Jones.

Principal Doris Jones also saw the fire and says there's a silver lining among the ruins of this nearly 60-year-old building.

Since Tuesday night the entire community has stepped in to help.

"In a small community, the high school and the school district is the heart of the community and so we have generations of people who have graduated from this school and are now working in this school," said Jones.

The district canceled classes at all of its schools until Tuesday.  When school starts, the high school students will take most of their classes at the middle school next door.

"I'm just thankful to every person who has given us their all and gotten us to a place where I think it's going to be close to seamless, come Tuesday," said Superintendent Richard Rundhaug.

"I'm just really happy that no one was hurt during the fire," said Mikayla.

Now the community will focus on rebuilding together.

The cause of the fire still isn't certain, but Superintendent Rundhaug says it most likely had something to do with the school's heater.