Associated Press Published

Fire at 'Rocket Boys' Alma Mater Ruled Arson


State officials say arson was the cause of a fire at a former high school that gained national attention from the movie “October Sky.”

Media outlets report that the West Virginia Fire Marshal’s Office is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the fire.

The fire occurred July 17 at the former Big Creek High School in War.

Big Creek was the alma mater of author Homer Hickam Jr. and four friends who became national science fair champions in 1960. The school was a source of inspiration for Hickam’s book, ” Rocket Boys: A Memoir,” and the 1999 movie.

The school opened in 1932 and closed in 2010. It was scheduled for demolition.