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Officials Set Old Iowa Elementary School on Fire

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EXIRA, Iowa (AP) — Officials in western Iowa have set a nearly century-old elementary school on fire as they look to save money and offer training.

About 100 firefighters from a dozen departments turned up Sunday in Exira to participate in the controlled burn. Most of the large brick building’s interior was burned within two hours.

Dozens of residents gathered across the street to watch the blaze. Some called the burning bittersweet. Others said the building, which closed in 2011, needed to come down for safety reasons.

The Exira Elk Horn-Kimballton Community School District says the controlled burn will save it up to $60,000 in demolition costs and offer critical training to area firefighters.

The building is located near the center of Exira, a small town about 60 miles west of Des Moines.

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