Historic home in Avon severely damaged by fire - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Historic home in Avon severely damaged by fire

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(WFSB photo) (WFSB photo)
AVON, CT (WFSB) -

A fire severely damaged a historic property in Avon and tons of artifacts went up in flames on Wednesday morning.

Though the fire on West Avon Road was extinguished, the concern turned to what may have been lost inside and what will happen to the 200-year-old landmark.

The historic Derrin House was built in 1810. For the last 20 years, the Avon Historical Society has worked to rehab the Derrin House and make it into a museum.

"I cried first because it really hurt," Avon Historical Society President Terri Wilson said. 

The fire was first reported just before 9 a.m. When firefighters arrived, they said they found smoke coming out of the first floor windows.

"There's a lot of heat and smoke damage," said James DiPace, Avon fire marshal. "There is some structural damage."

The inside and outside of historic Derrin House was charred and the windows were blown out. 

"All in all, the fire was extinguished relatively quickly and kept to that first floor area," said Avon assistant fire chief Bruce Appell.

This year marks the 250th year of the Derrin family settling in Avon. A grand celebration was planned for next month at the home, but was canceled after the fire. 

"So this is devastating because when you have a house museum and not all historical societies have one, it really cuts to the core," Wilson said.

Wilson said gone are many of the artifacts from the house from furniture to a piano and pictures, even one priceless item.

"It was an envelope that someone found on Ebay that was written by a Derrin family member to this house," Wilson said. "So we bought it and I framed it and we had it hanging."

The Avon Historical Society leases the property from the Connecticut Department of the Military. Eyewitness News was told it will be up to them to decide whether to rehab the Derrin House or tear it down. 

"It's really disappointing to see something like this happen," Avon resident Mark Zacchio said. 

The Connecticut Department of the Military told Eyewitness News they have not made a decision yet on what to do with the house. 

West Avon Road, also known as Route 167, was closed between Woodmont and Arch Roads, according to firefighters. It was shut down for about three hours.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

No one was hurt.

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