Historic home lost in fire

By Erika Pedroza | Published Saturday, June 8, 2013

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A historic home south of Decatur burned to the ground Tuesday in what appears to be an accidental, electrical fire.

Decatur, Boyd and Rhome fire departments responded to the blaze in the 100 block of Private Road 4370 around 6 p.m. – but there was little they could do to salvage the 150-year-old structure.

“The three departments handled it extremely well,” said Kennedale fire marshal J.C. Travis. who filled in for Wise County Fire Marshal Chuck Beard. “But the old lumber and construction method of the home helped feed the fire. The home is completey gone.”

Travis said he’d met with the home’s owner as part of his investigation and learned the family had bought a mill and used lumber from the property to build the home that has been passed along many generations.

Most recently, the owner had been remodeling the home for a relative. He had already started moving in some of his possessions, all of which were lost in the blaze.

Investigators say the power had been turned on earlier Tuesday, and the tenant had put in a load of laundry and gone out to eat when he got a phone call around 6 p.m. notifying him that the house was in flames,

“In conducting the investigation, all signs indicate it was an electrical fire,” Travis said. “There are no signs of any other origin. It was an accident, just an unfortunate situation.

“It’s a tragedy to lose a 150-year-old structure.”

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