A historic mansion on the Chattahoochee River in Columbus has been severely damaged by fire.
The Sunday blaze gutted the home known as the Mott House, built by the second mayor of Columbus and later owned by some of the city’s pioneering businessmen, authorities said. The inside was completely gutted and the historic exterior was badly damaged, The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reported.
The house was the last remaining Chattahoochee riverfront mansion between Columbus and the Gulf of Mexico, the Columbus newspaper reported.
During the American Civil War, it was the headquarters of Union Gen. James H. Wilson and was spared from damage when Union forces torched many other riverfront structures in the city on the Georgia-Alabama line.
It was acquired by Columbus-based electronic payment processing firm TSYS in 1997. It had recently been undergoing a renovation project for a conference center and board room. That project was scheduled to be completed in April 2015.
“We are devastated to lose this landmark,” company spokesman Rob Ward said as firefighters battled the last hot spots before dawn on Sunday. “This building has been such a part of the history of Columbus.”
Columbus Fire Department Battalion Chief Bobby Dutton said the cause was not immediately known.
The fire was reported shortly before 2:30 a.m. Sunday, said Columbus Fire and Emergency Medical Services Fire Inspector Danny Irions. More than 40 firefighters battled the blaze. It was brought under control around 3:45 a.m. Sunday.
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