Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Fire Destroys Century Old Home

 

MAGNOLIA HOUSE FIRE

A historic home in the Magnolia area went up in flames on Thursday, along with thousands of rounds of ammunition.

Homeowner Bill Adams emerged from the shower around 11:30 a.m. to find smoke inside the house. He soon determined the fire was in the attic.

“I couldn’t see the fire, but I couldn’t breathe,” Adams said.

Despite the presence of numerous fire extinguishers, Adams was helpless because he was unable to get to the fire, he said. Adams began loading up as many valuables as possible, with only about 10 minutes before he had to get away from the house completely.

The Magnolia Fire Department and assisting agencies responded, but Assistant Montgomery County Fire Marshal Scott Burlin said they found ammunition was exploding throughout the house, preventing their entry and forcing them to go immediately into defensive mode. Burlin said Adams indicated there was around 100,000 rounds of ammunition inside the home.

Ironically, the guns and ammunition that prevented firefighters from making entry were kept there by Adams as an investment.

The homestead was almost 100 years old, and the home was two houses combined to make one. The first was built by a Captain Miller who fought in the first World War and acquired by Adams’ grandfather in 1927, with 100 acres. In 1958, the Adams family bought 117 more acres, and the house on the east side was purchased from Grogan’s Mill Sawmill and Lumber Company when they went out of business and moved to that site.

Adams said the family worked there as recreation his entire life. Thirteen years ago, he moved to the homestead fulltime to raise cows and hay. By May of this year, it was so dry, Adams said he sold all his cows and leased out the farmland. The freshly plowed soil is believed to have stopped the wildfires that recently ravaged the area from destroying the old family home.

Adams said he wound up with the home as the “last man standing” and accumulated the guns owned by the other men in his family through the years.

“I like firearms, but I don’t hunt and don’t shoot – I think they’re a good investment in the future,” Adams said. “They go up many times in value.”

Adams called his extensive collection a “hedge against inflation.”

Burlin said the fire was accidental and as of this writing its origin was not determined. However, Burlin said it may have been related to a wood burning stove that was in use, the central air and heating unit put into the house about 20 years ago, or a malfunction of the general electrical system.

The home was a total loss.

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