One of the oldest homes in Warren County was lost Monday to a blaze that took around 2.5 hours to extinguish.
According to Collins River Fire Department assistant chief Donald Hillis, the two-story home on Privet Road in the Fairview community was built in the 1800s making it a more difficult fire. The top floor was fully engulfed upon the fire department’s arrival Monday afternoon around 2:40 p.m.
“It was an old home with brick on both sides and a metal roof, which holds heat inside the structure making it very dangerous,” said Hillis. “The occupant stated the fire started upstairs, but didn’t know how it started and the top floor fell into the bottom floor.”
With around 13 rural firefighters on scene, it took around 20,000 gallons of water to put out the flames and control the hot spots. Crews went in and found two of the tenant’s dogs. One survived, the other did not.
Hillis said the tenant lived in the bottom right side of the home so he was able to get many of his personal items out once the fire was contained. Still, the home was unsalvageable due to smoke and water damage.
Owner of the property Michael Kassees said although he had no family connection to the pre-Civil War home, the loss is devastating.
Despite the rain and one-lane gravel road leading to the home, Hillis felt they had a quick response time and enough firefighters on scene to take care of the fire. Red Cross has offered assistance.