May 30, 2011: LPS District Office goes up in flames

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LINCOLN, Neb. – Eight years ago Thursday, Lincoln Public Schools District Office was set on fire by a former teacher, causing nearly $20 million in damage.

8 years ago Thursday, the LPS District Office went up in flames. (Photo 1011 NOW)

On May 30, 2011, the district office, located near 56th and O streets, went up in flames on a rainy night, after it was set on fire by Sharon Brewster, a teacher for nearly five years with the district.

Brewster taught at Saratoga Elementary School and was a teacher of gifted students.

The fire, which was started on a desktop with a lighter, caused the roof of the district office to collapse and left just a portion of the building standing.

LPS Superintendent Steve Joel said at the time that the loss of the building was difficult, but was confident the district would move forward.

“I've always been one that looks at things sunny side up and it's real easy to lament and to really reflect negatively on what we've just experienced and you know, the grieving process, everybody does it differently but, you know, we do our grieving and then you move on," Joel said in 2011.

Brewster was eventually convicted on arson charges and sentenced to 8-12 years in prison for the crime.

She was released in March of 2017.