Fire damaged the the historic Derrin House in Avon on Wednesday morning and now the investigation begins into what started it.
A passerby contacted authorities at 8:48 a.m. after seeing smoke coming from the Derrin House, on West Avon Road.
The site, which is on the State Register of Historical Places, is open to the public to showcase what life was like on a 19th century New England Farm and some renovations were underway inside when the fire broke out this morning.
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Avon's Fire Marshall's office said on Thursday oily rags left inside the building spontaneously combusted and started the fire.
The first level was on fire when firefighters arrived and crews managed to contain it to the one floor, but there is damage.
“I got here after the flames had gone away, thank goodness. It was quite surprising,” Terri Wilson, president of the Avon Historical Society, said.
The historical society has spent the past couple decades working on the 1810 farmhouse.
“Through a lot of effort from some very dedicated volunteers and a lot of donated time and effort and materials and grants, we’ve been able to bring the house back to life,” Wilson said.
The historical society society was planning a big event in June to celebrate 250 years since the Derrins settled in this area.
Now, they are worried about all the historical pieces that might have been destroyed, as well as the house.