Historic Oak Ridge homeowner plans to rebuild after fire

Historic Oak Ridge homeowner plans to rebuild after fire

Posted:
The owner of a historic home in Oak Ridge plans to rebuild after an overnight fire nearly destroyed it. The owner of a historic home in Oak Ridge plans to rebuild after an overnight fire nearly destroyed it.
"So it held the heat in really quickly, but it also helped us extinguish the fire," said Chief Darryl Kerley of the Oak Ridge Fire Department. "So it held the heat in really quickly, but it also helped us extinguish the fire," said Chief Darryl Kerley of the Oak Ridge Fire Department.
"We heard the sirens and everything. I thought it was a wreck down the road here and there was fire trucks lined up along the road there,"said Thomas Brooks of Oak Ridge. "We heard the sirens and everything. I thought it was a wreck down the road here and there was fire trucks lined up along the road there,"said Thomas Brooks of Oak Ridge.

By CAMERON TAYLOR
6 News Reporter


OAK RIDGE (WATE) - The owner of a historic home in Oak Ridge plans to rebuild after an overnight fire nearly destroyed it. The Luther Brannon home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its association with the Manhattan Project and General Leslie R. Groves who lived there and who commanded the project.

Charred pieces from the historic Luther Brannon home remain visible in the yard. Oak Ridge firefighters say the owner, Danny Brannon, and his daughter came home from a movie around 1 a.m. Monday to find the home full of smoke.

People in the area like Thomas Brooks knew something wasn't right.


"We heard the sirens and everything. I thought it was a wreck down the road here and there was fire trucks lined up along the road there,"said Brooks of Oak Ridge.

From the front of the home, you can't tell anything is wrong. The real damage is in the back where firefighters say the fire began in the kitchen and quickly spread to the dining room.


Firefighters say since the home was made out of stone, that helped keep the fire inside.  

"So it held the heat in really quickly, but it also helped us extinguish the fire," said Chief Darryl Kerley of the Oak Ridge Fire Department.  

The home has a rich history and was built in 1941. According to the National Park Service, General Leslie R. Groves used the home as the Manhattan Project headquarters in the early 1940's until federal facilities were built.

Then in the 1950's, the current owner's grandfather bought the home and three generations have lived there since. 

"I couldn't believe it. It really broke my heart after I knew that," said Brooks. 

"There's only a few historical structures of this significance left in the community and we certainly would like to see it rebuilt and preserved," said Chief Kerley.

Previously, there was a small fire in the home's basement in 2002, according to the fire department.

The Oak Ridge Fire Department is still investigating what caused Monday's fire, but they are calling the inside of the home a total loss and not safe to live in. 

While the home is being repaired, the Red Cross is providing Brannon and his daughter with food, clothing, and shelter for the next few days.

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