Fire destroys historic home in Silver City
SILVER CITY – A wood stove was blamed for an early-morning blaze Friday, heavily damaging a restored historic home.
A 9-year-old boy reported seeing the flames about 2 a.m. from his bedroom window in a home across the street, said Lyon County Fire Prevention Specialist Mary Ellen Holley. The two men who rented the home were asleep inside and were rescued without injury.
“He sat up in bed, saw the fire in the attic, laid back down and then he thought about it and told his aunt,” she said.
The two men, both in their 20s, were inside when fire officials arrived. One man had to be awakened, Holley said. The men are staying with family in Carson City.
Three engines and two ambulances – a total of 12 firefighters – battled the blaze for four hours.
Named after a previous owner, the “Muckle house,” has been a Main Street landmark for 130 years.
The house was built in the early 1860s and restored in the 1980s, said Larry Wahrenbrock, who owns the house with wife, Sandy McCormick.
During the restoration, the couple spent close to $50,000 in improvements to conform the house to standards set by the Secretary of the Interior’s certified historic rehabilitation. Costs for a similar restoration in 2000 would be difficult to estimate, Wahrenbrock said.
“It was a very significant building to Silver City,” he said. “And it will be a significant loss if we can’t rebuild.”
Holley said the house is likely to be a total loss. Fire spread throughout the attic and filled the lower rooms with smoke.
Wahrenbrock said a contractor examined the burned structure and told the couple to consider it a total loss.
Heat from the chimney on the outside of the structure penetrated into the attic, Holley said. The wood stove in question was installed recently, to the best of Wahrenbrock’s recollection.
He said looking into the stove installation is “on the list of things to do.” He is also waiting to hear back from insurance adjustors.