Authorities investigating house fire

Published 4:13 pm Friday, March 30, 2012

A 13-room home on Forest Home Road that had been transformed into a hunting camp burned to the ground Monday at 11 p.m., according to Butler County Sheriff Kenny Harden.

The only thing remaining after the blaze was extinguished was the home’s three chimneys. Authorities have not ruled out the possibility that the fire might have been intentionally set.

“We’ve called the Fire Marshal in to help us determine the cause of that fire,” Harden said. “It was a total loss. We’re just trying to determine the cause of the fire. There was no one at home and there was power to it. It’s an old house so it could have been several causes. If there is anybody that knows anything about it, give us a call.”

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Butler County Circuit Clerk Allen Stephenson grew up in the house.

“I was there from (the time I was) 5 years old off and on until I was 30,” Stephenson said. “It was just one of those places that everybody enjoyed being at. We had wonderful garden and it was just a great place to grow up.”

Stephenson said the house was so big that the family could not heat it all, so during the winter months the family would move to one side of the house to live.

“We haven’t lived there in many years but periodically but I would go to Forest Home and ride by and reminisce,” Stephenson said. “My parents are buried in the cemetery beyond there. The great thing is you can burn up the house but you can’t burn up the memories.”