Historic house burned on Christmas Day

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A historic house was in flames around 5 a.m. Tuesday morning.

“It’s a total loss, the structure is not salvageable,” says District Chief Richard Saulsberry from Gainesville Fire and Rescue.

“We didn’t even get to have our Christmas dinner here, it’s just really sad,” says homeowner Carolyn Cosby Edwards.

The home was built in 1877 and has belonged to the Cosby family for generations. Now only memories remain.

“We started our efforts this morning at about 5:15 this morning and we finished here about 30 minutes ago, so about 5 hours” says Chief Saulsberry.

It was the second fire in the house in two days. Gainesville Fire and Rescue put out a small attic fire on Christmas day.

The family says they were at a hotel after the first fire because the power had been turned off – when just hours later they received another call.

Fire officials say both are still under investigation -- but friends and neighbors have come together to clean up what was salvageable, and the Cosby family plans to rebuild someday.

“Even though we didn’t lose a life, we lost a part of our family and a part of our legacy in this house and this community,” says Edwards.

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