Fire destroys a piece of East Texas history

Published: Aug. 28, 2013 at 3:28 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 28, 2013 at 2:17 AM CDT
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JEFFERSON, TX (KLTV) - The first bed and breakfast in Texas is destroyed after a fire Wednesday morning.

The Jefferson Volunteer Fire Department say the historic Pride House Bed and Breakfast burned to the ground after a fire started in the kitchen.

Members of the Jefferson community were in tears as they watched the fire.

Dorothy Cravers, the granddaughter of the man who built the home, stood with her family members as firefighters battled the blaze.

"This house is burning, burning. We looked up and we could see those flames shooting high up into the sky."

Cravers says the house has had several owners since her grandfather, George W. Brown, built it.

Kayann Holloman, director of Jefferson's Chamber of Commerce, says the building is special to many people, It just means a lot to the people in the town, but it also means a lot to people that come here for the historic value of it."

Firefighters say it took an emotional four hours to get the fire under control.

"It's a huge loss. I mean this bed and breakfast home has been going for so many years now and tourism is the most important thing here in Jefferson. It's the largest industry that we have. We're very dependent on it," says Victor Perot, deputy chief of the Jefferson Volunteer Fire Department.

No one was staying at The Pride House when the fire started. The owner lives in a cottage behind the house and was able to get out safely.

Craver says all she can think about is her grandparents and all of the memories made behind these walls.

"There is the vestige of the last remnants of their lives crumbling into the dust with nothing but ashes .... just ashes."

The community doesn't know what's next for The Pride House, but they say it will always be a symbol of their historic city.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Firefighters are still monitoring hot spots in the roof of the home. They hope to recover any items that were not destroyed in the fire on Thursday.

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