RANKIN, Ill. (WCIA) — An early morning fire destroyed the old grade school building.

It happened around 4:00 a.m. Saturday, at the Rankin grade school building, located at 220 N. Johnson Street.

The fire department told us it had been vacant for years, and was partially demolished. Now, they say it’s reduced to “a pile of sticks and bricks.”

The fire department had to call in construction equipment to knock down the walls, because of how large the fire was.

No one was hurt.

We do not know the cause at this time.

For years, the Rankin Grade School has been an eyesore and dangerous for those who live near it.

In February the public health department said the owner of the building bought it for $10 in 2017. They asked him to have it torn down. When he didn’t, they took legal action.

They say the owner was trying to tear down the building, but he’s doing it on his own. They were concerned there may be asbestos in the building.