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Arson suspected in Clark Mansion blaze
Written by Staff Reporter   
Friday, 25 June 2010 09:26

Flames engulf  historic Clark Mansion, which caught fire sometime before 4:30 a.m.  Friday, Jan. 25. Cottonwood Fire Department and the Sedona, Camp Verde,  Clarkdale and Verde Valley fire districts all responded to battle the  blaze, according to Clarkdale Fire Chief Joe Moore. The building, which  is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a total loss,  Moore said.Clark Mansion stood in ruins after an early morning fire destroyed the historic building Friday, June 25.

Arson is suspected, Clarkdale Fire District Fire Chief Joe Moore said.

Flames engulf  historic Clark Mansion, which caught fire sometime before 4:30 a.m.  Friday, Jan. 25. Cottonwood Fire Department and the Sedona, Camp Verde,  Clarkdale and Verde Valley fire districts all responded to battle the  blaze, according to Clarkdale Fire Chief Joe Moore. The building, which  is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a total loss,  Moore said.The nearly 100-year-old residence, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was fully engulfed when crews arrived shortly before 5 a.m.

Clarkdale Fire  District Captain Bill Volk takes a long look at the remains of the  historic Clark Mansion which burned in a suspicious fire at  approximately 4:30 a.m. on Friday, June 25.“It was an orange ball of flame, well involved, by the time we got here,” Moore said.

The building is considered a total loss. Moore said he would have to consult with historians to affix a value.

A downed power line electrified a chain-link fence surrounding the mansion and made firefighters wait roughly 20 minutes for Arizona Public Service technicians to disconnect power before water could be applied.

Clarkdale Fire  District Captain Bill Volk takes a long look at the remains of the  historic Clark Mansion which burned in a suspicious fire at  approximately 4:30 a.m. on Friday, June 25.Firefighters established a perimeter outside the burning building’s “collapse zone” and poured water on the blaze from a distance of about 30 feet, Moore said.

A view of the back side of the Clark  Mansion reveals the intensity of the blaze in the long streaks of  charring up the structure's chimneys and facades. Arson is suspected as  the cause of the fire which stole a beloved historic landmark from the  residents of Clarkdale and the rest of the Verde Valley.Bits of the  gutted interior still smolder after a devastating fire at the Clark  Mansion which was reported at approximately 4:45 a.m. on Friday, June  25.“We did not go into the interior of the building because there was a high potential for collapse,” Moore said. “There was no way to get into the interior.”

A view of the  back side of the Clark Mansion reveals the intensity of the blaze in the  long streaks of charring up the structure's chimneys and facades. Arson  is suspected as the cause of the fire which stole a beloved historic  landmark from the residents of Clarkdale and the rest of the Verde  Valley.Units from Cottonwood Fire Department and the Sedona, Camp Verde, Clarkdale and Verde Valley fire districts  responded, Moore said.

In all, 21 firefighers and 12 units responded to the scene, he said.

EX_clark_mansion_burns_6-30.jpg_9“It was a priceless, historical piece of the Verde Valley,” Moore said. “It’s crushing to have lost it.”

Although much of  the Clark Mansion's stone facade remains intact after a devastating fire  early in the morning Friday, June 25, the interior is completely  destroyed. Area fire officials suspect arson as the cause.Bits of the  gutted interior still smolder after a devastating fire at the Clark  Mansion which was reported at approximately 4:45 a.m. on Friday, June  25.Clarkdale Town Manager Gayle Mabery, who was at the scene shortly before 6:30 a.m., said Phelps Dodge Corp. currently owns the mansion, but was preparing to transfer the property to new owners who were expected to eventually open the former residence of "Copper King" William Clark to the public.

The mansion had been closed off for years, but reports of break-ins were frequent, as much as every other week, Mabery said.

Arson investigators were expected to arrive Friday morning to sift evidence, Moore said.

A beer can  littered on the grounds of the Clark  Mansion offers evidence of recent  trespassers. Arson is suspected by  area fire officials in the complete  destruction of the local landmark  which was engulfed in flames early in  the morning Friday, June 25.What appeared to be freshly-emptied beer cans were strewn about the entrance to the mansion Friday.

Although much of  the Clark Mansion's stone facade  remains intact after a devastating fire  early in the morning Friday,  June 25, the interior is completely  destroyed. Area fire officials  suspect arson as the cause.A small campfire near an outbuilding was cold, but suggested the site was possibly visited by trespassers in recent days.

Clarkdale Town  Manager Gayle Mabery, left, examines the charred hulking remains of one  of Clarkdale's best-loved historic landmarks, the Clark Mansion, hours  after the structure burned in what local fire officials are calling a  suspicious fire Friday, June 25.Piles of black debris, including collapsed beams, cracked porcelain bathroom fixtures, and the stylized mantle of the parlor’s fireplace continued to burn and smolder at 7 a.m.

Moore said after the fire was beaten, firefighters stepped back and stopped applying water to allow the remains of the interior to burn out.

“If we put water on now, it will just burn longer,” he said.

Clarkdale Mayor Doug Von Gausig was able to see the fire from his home and snapped several photos of the burning building in the early morning darkness.

Flames engulf  historic Clark Mansion, which caught fire sometime before 4:30 a.m.  Friday, Jan. 25. Cottonwood Fire Department and the Sedona, Camp Verde,  Clarkdale and Verde Valley fire districts all responded to battle the  blaze, according to Clarkdale Fire Chief Joe Moore. The building, which  is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a total loss,  Moore said.“This is a sad day for Clarkdale,” Von Gausig said.

 

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