BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Flames and smoke may have destroyed the old Ensley High School building Tuesday, "But they can't burn the memories we have in our heart," said one alum watching the smoke billow.
It was around 2:30 Tuesday morning when flames began leaping towards the sky so fierce firefighters couldn't even enter.
By noon, crews were still dousing the building with water as many alumni gathered to watch, like Larry Carter, class of 1985.
"This is home and it hurts to see something like this. It really hurts," Carter said.
As many recorded and took pictures, Karla Paige stopped by hoping to get a brick from the rubble. "I want a piece of it. It's a part of me. I want a piece of it," she said.
In daylight, the damage could be seen clearly as old friends gathered for an impromptu reunion, like Carl Valentine and Oneshia Hutchingson, both from the class of 1974.
"Girl, it just brings back so many memories and I love my school," Hutchingson said.
"This is such a bad ending for a good school," Valentine added.
They, like so many others, were sad to see the school closed down in 2006. And even sadder to know nothing was ever done with the building.
"It just sat here and I was like 'when are they going to do something?" Carter said.
"I would have loved to have seen something done to the building before this happened, said Paige.
Regardless of the future, the past still holds strong.