ALBANY, N.Y.(NEWS10) – The former Doane Stuart school in Albany was reduced to a pile of smoldering bricks and debris yet it is so much more, housing memories that date back nearly 200 years.

 Heather Martin and Edward Goosman attended classes here and had to see it for themselves. 

“It was Doane Stuart when I was here,” said Heather Martin.

“That was long after my time,” replied Edward Goosman.

Martin attended classes at Doane Stuart from the third grade on, graduating high school in 2001. 

She shared her fondest memories and yearbook with NEWS10.

Then in an emotional moment, Heather watched as the bell tower fell, along with the tears from her eyes.

“I’m feeling heartbroken. For those of us that had the privilege to attend this school, no matter at what time frame it was, even in the current day it was a symbolism of the achievement that you made when you graduated. We were allowed to go up there just a couple of weeks before graduation and you write your own personal message to those that would come up behind you, and to us it’s lost now,” said Martin.

Heather shared stories of yesteryear, each photo a memory. Some of the strongest of those; remembering the nuns who taught her.

“Sister Kent was in the elementary school. I mean my brother, my sister, myself; we could all tell you she tied our shoes. She was the lady that helped,” said Martin.

Edward Goosman not only attended pre k though kindergarten in the early 70’s, his single mother worked at the school as well.

“My mother worked in the laundry when she first, you can tell in that picture right here, she worked in the laundry with the nuns,” said Goosman.

Edward clings to memories and photos, telling NEWS10 he had a hard time letting go of his mother after she passed away.  And yet, in a strange way, seeing this tragic fire brought closure.

“It still hasn’t sunk in. It still wasn’t real that my mom was gone. Yesterday, standing on the hill over there and I was watching the flames and it finally really hit me she’s gone. Because I associated this[place] with her life,” said Goosman.

The fire is under investigation, and it remains unclear who the property belongs to. We will continue to follow this story and update you both on air and online.