From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Oct. 22, 1987:
Two rural Douglas County buildings had suffered damage in separate fires this week. The old Kaw Valley Grade School, which had been closed for more than 30 years and used most recently for storage, had caught fire when winds had spread flames from a nearby trash fire. Firefighters had been forced to battle the blaze from outside the cement-block walls because of the unknown content of chemicals stored in barrels inside, but the fire was finally brought under control seven hours later. The other fire, just southwest of Clinton Lake, had destroyed a home owned by Ellis R. Kerley and rented to Ronald R. Wilson, who had lived there with his wife and three children. A wood stove had apparently started the fire, but the Overbrook Fire Department said this morning that the cause was still under investigation. The Washington Creek Church of the Brethren were planning a community shower for the family, who had lost everything in the fire and didn't have insurance.