SMITHTOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A fire consumed a piece of history on Long Island.
A home, nearly two centuries old, burned to the ground early Tuesday morning. The home stood empty for more than a decade, but was going to be restored, CBS2’s Marc Liverman reported.
History up in flames, a mansion that stood for 173 years was gone in a matter of minutes. Smoke and flames shot into the sky.
“When we came home last night, it was completely up in flames. It was just amazing how fast it came down,” neighbor Vincent Danzi said.
Danzi and his mother-in-law, Ana Acevedo, watched as firefighters rushed to the scene, but there was nothing anyone could do.
“It was too late,” Acevedo said.
The flames were so powerful Danzi’s family started preparing for the worst.
“We were concerned about the embers flying over this house because we are very close,” Acevedo said.
Luckily it never got that far. The mansion on Edgewood Avenue had stood through it all. It went up even before the Civil War.
“Apparently inside it had wood from ships 100 years older than that, so we’ve lost something really special in Smithtown. It’s a real shame,” Danzi said.
The home has columns along the front spanning the length of both floors. They are now burnt and toppled over.
Acevedo said the homeowner took her on a tour just two weeks ago.
“He said ‘come in, come in’ and I stepped in with my right foot and I said ‘I’m stepping into history now,'” Acevedo said.
As of Tuesday afternoon there was almost nothing left of the home. You could see the blackened wood, the charred siding and a few piles of bricks. That’s because firefighters said the homeowner was planning to restore it back to its original condition.
“We were really excited that it was actually going to be restored to its original glory,” Danzi said.
That original glory is ow nothing but a memory. A house that stood proudly for centuries is gone forever.