Fire destroys historic home in Liberty Co.

Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 4:46 PM EST
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LIBERTY COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - A historic home in Liberty County now burned to the ground after a chimney fire spread to the rest of the home.

Multiple fire departments responded to the fire, but were unable to save the home.

The State Fire Marshall’s Office is investigating and the owner of the home, is still reeling after losing everything.

Less than 24 hours after the devastating fire started burning, the remains of the Springfield historic home here in Liberty County are still smoldering. Liberty County fire has been out here all morning and well into the afternoon putting out hotspots are still smoking.

Meanwhile, there’s been an outpouring of support from the community, and sadness at the fact that this historic home has been destroyed.

However, for Meredith Belford, this place wasn’t just one of history- it was her home for her whole life.

“It’s really quite devastating. And you can’t help but see what’s behind me and realize that there’s nothing left. It’s melted or burned beyond any salvage,” Belford said.

According to Belford, the home, called Springfield, has belonged to her family since 1756- after King George II gave them a land grant.

The majority of the home, however, was built in 1925 when Belford’s grandparents put on an addition. Someone from Belford’s family has lived in the home for the last 250 years until now.

“There’s a part of me that’s really sad that we lost this historic records, and this home, but I lost all of my personal things. I lost all of my letters from my parents. I lost all of the letters from their parents, and so, there’s a thread that’s been snapped here,” Belford said.

Belford said that when she evacuated from Hurricane Matthew, she made peace with the fact that the home might be destroyed but it wasn’t.

This fire, she says, is different because it was so unexpected, and she still hasn’t had time to process everything.

“I’m pretty good at letting go, but it’s devastating because a piece of me has died. And it’s only what I can remember, and I feel like I’ve kind of lost my parents all over again,” Belford said.

Belford adds that she was going to be the last member of the family to actually own the home. It was slated to be transferred to a historic preservation organization when she dies. She says she’s devastated to be the last person that was able to enjoy the home.