Plans to restore a longtime Columbus home may or may not continue following Friday morning”s fire that caused damage to the structure, according to one of the owners.
Chris Gilmer, who, along with David Creel, owns what used to be known as the Sharp House, said Friday he is not sure what their plans are. The house is located at 619 Sixth Ave. S.
“We will get in touch with the fire department to determine just how serious the damage is. All of the windows are out, but the fire department has to determine how serious it is,” said Gilmer, who is community liaison for the Roger Wicker Center for Creative Learning.
According to Capt. John Fancher of the Columbus Fire Department, the investigation into the fire is ongoing.
“The battalion chief and the fire marshal are still investigating. No cause has been determined,” he said.
Firefighters responded to the call at approximately 7 a.m. Friday. Gilmer said that Creel, a column contributor to The Dispatch, has been out of town, and he had already left for work when he was contacted about the fire.
“It is a sad thing. I have already been in touch with David,” he said.
Gilmer said the house had been used for apartments for several years. When he and Creel bought the home last December, they were going to make some changes.
“We were looking at converting it from apartments to a single-family house, or we were also thinking about making it into a bed and breakfast. Right now, we are not sure what is going to happen,” he said.
Gilmer said they were in the early stages of restoration work when the fire took place. He said they had been staying in an apartment that was separate from the house, but they had worked on the first floor to the extent it was livable.
“This was going to be a long-term project,” he said.
According to stories that had been told to him by local residents, Gilmer said, the house was known as the Sharp House, because the Sharp sisters had lived there for a long time.
“The sisters used the home as a boarding house when they lived here. From my understanding, the house was built in the early 1900s,” he said.
Gilmer said he and Creel appreciate the efforts of the fire department.
“The fire department showed a high degree of professionalism in their work. We also appreciate our friends and neighbors for all of their help and support,” he said.
Allen Baswell was previously a reporter for The Dispatch.
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