Valley Head residents devastated by fire at historic home

Northeast Alabama
Data pix.

VALLEY HEAD, Ala. - A historic DeKalb County home was destroyed during a fire Sunday night.

Valley Head Fire Department Chief Dustin Burt said it started around 8:20 p.m.

The large white house was built in 1853 by the McKown family.

Parts of the rubble were still smoldering Monday afternoon.

“It’s heartbreaking," said owner Rhonda Weathers. "It’s very, very heartbreaking. A lot of work, but a lot of love went into it."

The original hardwood flooring and walls were completely burned through, but the original fireplace remains standing. It’s those pieces of the past Weathers loved so much.

“It was amazing. The front porch just wrapped around," she said. "You could sit on the porch and see all of the mountain, there was deer and turkey come in the backyard, you could look out the window and see wildlife. Inside it was just old but amazing."

Weathers and her daughter bought the house in 2015 to turn into a bed and breakfast called The Weathers Place.

Weathers took a year off from hosting anyone at the bed and breakfast to spend time with her granddaughter at a Nashville hospital after she was born with heart defects.

However, Weathers was getting ready to reopen.

“I was in the middle of putting it back together as a B&B. I did pressure washing and cut tree limbs,” said Weathers.

She said the loss of the home is not only devastating to her, but also the entire community.

“I’ve talked to them at the city hall today and everybody is just heartbroken over it," she said. "Everybody knows this house. I grew up here and this house has been here for all of our life. It’s a big part of the community."

Based on where firefighters said the fire may have started, Weathers said it could have been caused by the central heating system.

She did not have insurance.

The fire destroyed the communications cable nearby, leaving 195 homes without internet or phone service for several hours.

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