A piece of East Texas history went up in flames early this morning.
The Jefferson Volunteer Fire Department received a call about 3:20 a.m. Wednesday morning that large amounts of smoke were seen coming from the Pride House Bed & Breakfast on E. Broadway St. in Jefferson.
"We came upon lot of smoke billowing out of the house. It appeared that the fire was located somewhere in or around the kitchen area," says Victor Perot, Assistant Fire Chief for Jefferson VFD.
It took 15 firefighters and three units about five hours to get the fully engulfed building under control, but the 125-year-old home's entirely wooden structure was no match for the aggressive flames.
"When the fire gets inside the walls of these homes, it takes a very long time to get that taken care of and mopped up," Perot says.
As of 10a.m. Wednesday, firefighters were still on scene putting out hot spots. The cause of the blaze is still under investigation.
The Marion County Chamber of Commerce left the following message on its facebook page.
"The Pride House B&B caught fire in the night, it breaks our hearts to see this beautiful old building burning. Our hopes and prayers go out to the guests and the owner, we pray that everyone made it out safely. Sad to see the First Bed and Breakfast in Texas burned early this morning."
Bed and breakfasts drive a large portion of the tourism in Jefferson, and a loss like this one resonates throughout the community.
"I'm in shock. You never anticipate anything like that happening. The impact of losing [a B&B] is tremendous for our little small town of Jefferson," says Kayann Holloman, with Director of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce.
No one was inside the bed and breakfast when the fire started, but the owner was sleeping in a cottage directly behind the home and made it out safely.
The Pride House, formerly known as the George W. Brown House, was built in 1887. The Texas Historical Medallion was put in place around 1976.
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