Friday, November 7, 2008

The BHS Fire in 1991

-click on photos to enlarge-

Many of us were gone from Baldwyn and have never known much about this fire at BHS.

We lost our old high school building to a very spectacular fire on October 21, 1991. It burned completely despite efforts of the Baldwyn fire fighters and several from the surrounding communities. The debris smoldered for days after.

The person who intentionally set the fire was apprehended and if he is still in prison, I wish who might know to advise us by a comment. Also would like to know why he did it. I see that he was 18 and a sophomore, and evidently in trouble over other matters. Wonder if he was behind due to academics and if that was the reason? The name Calomese is prevalent with Baldwyn education; Dunbar Calomese was the principal of the school on Cemetery Road in the 40s-50s.

I included a photo of Mrs. Ella Herring (Phyllis' Mom) and how she and others were very saddened by the loss of the school building. Incidentally, this was the second time it was lost to fire, and was torn up badly in the 1942 storm.

Also, the old gymnasium was lost to a storm and torn down in early 2000 (hope that is right). So, there is nothing left there as we remember it in our days of attendance, not even a football field. The drainage ditch under the field was sealed to prevent access when a child was either trapped in the entrance or was hiding out there. He was found safe, however.

My apologies on the poor quality of the photos and arsonist column. Did the best I could with what I had.


  1. I'm sorry to say but as far as I know he did not have to serve any time, he said it was an accident.
    He also was still allowed to come into to the gym for basketball games. Had that been a white he would have had to served time.

  2. Yeah. He got off scott-free. Ain't this a great nation or what?

  3. Well, at least the people who pay their fair share didn't have to keep him in the judicial punishment system for 20 years.

  4. That wasn't any worse than the boys who put the goats in the library were punished!!!!!