A fire that broke out at Big Creek High School in McDowell County on July 17, 2015 has been ruled suspicious.  Assistant State Fire Marshal Ryan McFarland said the blaze is being investigated as an arson.

Big Creek High School is the alma mater of local celebrity and rocket scientist Homer Hickam.  His time at the school is featured in the book “Rocket Boys,” and the movie “October Sky.”

(CLICK HERE to read more on Hickam’s reaction to the fire)

McFarland said that the Fire Marshal’s Office is asking for help from the community to find those who are responsible for the fire.  A $5,000 reward is offered for any information that leads to an arrest.  

The school was scheduled for demolition before the fire occurred. That demolition was postponed until engineers were able to determine it was safe for crews to begin tearing it down.  The process began on Thursday, July 30, 2015.