UPDATE | Fire at old high school investigated as arson

Published: Jul. 13, 2019 at 9:51 PM EDT
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UPDATE 7/16/19 @ 5:51 p.m.

The Ohio State Fire Marshal's Office has confirmed that the fire at the old high school on Little Kyger Road in Gallia County was lit intentionally.

Many Kyger Creek High School and River Valley High School alumni have posted on Facebook expressing sadness at the demise of their old school.

Jenni and Brad Kemper were voted best dressed by River Valley High School in 1997 and even had their engagement photos taken there.

"Looking at the devastation at the old RVHS just breaks my heart," Jenni said in her post.

Wilma Murphy, a Kyger Creek grad from 1978, reflects on how sad it is to see a landmark of her childhood burn down.

"But just knowing that something is gone permanently that was in your memories," Murphy said. "That's what really ... that hurts. It hurts your heart."

UPDATE 7/16/19 @ 10:51 a.m.

Investigators believe a fire at a former high school in Gallia County over the weekend was not an accident.

Gallia County Sheriff Matt Champlin says his office has identified several persons of interest. Deputies believe those people are responsible for starting a fire at the former River Valley High School. The building is on Little Kyger Road in Addison Township.

The building, also known as the old Kyger Creek High School, caught fire just after 8 p.m. Saturday. By the time fire crews arrived, the entire gymnasium was up in flames.

Multiple departments worked for nearly three hours to get the fire under control. The Gallipolis, Springfield Township, Middleport, Pomeroy, and Rutland fire departments responded.

Sheriff's deputies were on scene for traffic control. That's when they learned information that led them to identify the persons of interest.

Detectives from the sheriff's office are working with the Ohio State Fire Marshal's Office on the investigation.

"At this time, this investigation is still ongoing, however we anticipate charges to be filed in the near future on the individuals responsible for causing this fire," Sheriff Champlin said.

UPDATE 7/14/19 @ 6:45 p.m.

An Ohio Fire Marshal is investigating a fire at the old River Valley High School in Cheshire.

The building, also known as the old Kyger Creek High School, went up in flames Saturday evening.

The Gallipolis Fire Department says it took five departments three hours to put the fire out.

Gallia County EMS was also on scene as a precautionary measure because of the extreme heat outside.

Investigators haven't determined a cause yet.

No one was injured.


Gallia County Dispatch tells us there is a fire at the old River Valley High School on Little Kyger Road.

Crews are still on scene battling the flames.

We have a photographer at the scene to get the latest details.

Keep checking for the latest.

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