Historic home damaged in Fulton fire

Fulton firefighters work to contain a fire Thursday morning on Jefferson Street. Chief Dean Buffington said it took crews about 20 minutes to contain the blaze, but said they likely would be "chasing hot spots" through the afternoon.

Fulton firefighters work to contain a fire Thursday morning on Jefferson Street. Chief Dean Buffington said it took crews about 20 minutes to contain the blaze, but said they likely would be "chasing hot spots" through the afternoon.

A historic Fulton home suffered serious damage in a fire Thursday morning.

Fulton Fire Chief Dean Buffington said when his crews arrived on scene at 211 Jefferson St., “flames were shooting out the windows clear out into the yard.”

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Family gathers to watch as the Fulton Fire Department works on containing a fire on Jefferson Street Thursday morning.

There was no one home at the time of the fire.

The home, owned by Brandy Bradshaw, was built by general store owner George M. Willing in 1849-50 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Buffington said firefighters had the blaze under control within 10 minutes, but crews would continue to work in the house throughout the afternoon “chasing hot spots.”

“This is an older building, and that presents a few unique challenges,” he said. “It’s more opened up, doesn’t have as many barriers, so the fire travels, and you have to play cat-and-mouse finding hot spots.”

According to a press release Thursday afternoon, the department used an “aggressive fire attack” utilizing multiple hose lines. The release went on to state that two rooms of the home received heavy fire damage, while the rest of the structure received extensive smoke damage.

“We were really fortunate — everything fell into place,” Buffington said of the department’s response. “Once we got here we had a good plan of attack and got it under control quickly.”

He said the fire originated in a front room on the first floor of the south side of the home, with an electric space heater identified as the probable cause.

“We ruled out everything else in the room of origin,” Buffington said. “We could not rule out the space heater.”

Three engines and one ladder truck responded to the fire, with traffic control provided by the Fulton Police Department and the Callaway County Ambulance District on scene for stand-by service.

The state fire marshal’s office helped with the investigation.

Because of the home’s status as a historically-registered building, Buffington said he was unsure about the damages, but guessed $100,000.

According to the paperwork for the Office of Historic Preservation in Jefferson City, the home is a Greek Revival structure built on the end-chimney I plan, with a gable roof and six colossal pilasters that divide the front facade into five bays. Another prominent feature is a hand-carved, solid walnut circular stairway in the central hall.

Barb Huddleston with the Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society said the brick walls of the house are 18 inches thick, and the bricks were made by slaves.

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