Firefighters received a call regarding a fire at Avenue 17 near Highway 99 in Madera County just before 9 a.m. Sunday morning.
There were no fire hydrants in the area, so a lack of water was an issue.
"Arriving on scene we had a real challenge of getting water. There was no real water supply out here. So we asked for an additional two water tenders," said Madera County Fire Department Battalion Chief Armando Rios.
Water tenders from the City of Chowchilla and Merced County along with 23 fighter fighters to help in firefighting efforts.
The schoolhouse was a total loss, but crews were able to save an abandoned house about 30 feet away.
Area residents say the building was the old "Powell Elementary School." The school moved to its current location in the 1960's. On the lot next to the former school, a building from that same school remains.