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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

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6/29/2010 1:55:00 PM
Clark Mansion fire probe continues
VVN/Jon HutchinsonClarkdale Fire Chief Joe Moore says it needs a certified structural engineer to assess the building and walls to determine if it is safe enough to enter and to dig in the debris. The floor is two feet deep in debris.
VVN/Jon Hutchinson

Clarkdale Fire Chief Joe Moore says it needs a certified structural engineer to assess the building and walls to determine if it is safe enough to enter and to dig in the debris. The floor is two feet deep in debris.

Jon Hutchinson
Staff Reporter


CLARKDALE -- The historic Clark Mansion, which burned Monday morning, is still unsafe to enter making the investigation into its cause difficult.

Clarkdale Fire Chief Joe Moore says use of Sedona's 100-foot tall ladder truck assisted investigators. He said investigators were able to stand on the platform above the structure and take pictures and video to document the entire fire site.

Moore says it needs a certified structural engineer to assess the building and walls to determine if it is safe enough to enter and to dig in the debris. The floor is two feet deep in debris. "If we can't dig in it, we can't investigate."

The floor above a partial basement has also burned and the coal room and furnace is visible and much debris has fallen in there as well.

The building has been turned over to its current owner, Freeport MacMoRan. Meanwhile, the Clarkdale Fire District will continue its investigation.

The fire has been labeled suspicious, and Moore says some evidence has been sent to the state lab. The building was taped off to preserve the site for investigation, but the fire chief, indicates there were already many footprints around the house.

After investigators documented the insides of the 5,200 square foot structure from the air, the ladder truck was then used to fully extinguish the remaining hot spots. Moore says three water tenders were needed to supply the truck and 28,300 gallons of water was used to fully extinguish the fire.

If the building is found to be structurally sound like the Cottonwood Old Town theater after its fire, then there is the possibility of reclamation, says Moore, but Clarkdale does not have the resources to accomplish that at this time.

Related Stories:
• Clarkdale's historic Clark Mansion sent to scrap heap
• Editorial: Neglect, vandalism was beginning of the end for Clark Mansion
• Historic Clark Mansion fire called 'suspicious'


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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, August 1, 2010
Article comment by: Sandra Kandy Kane

My father Virgil Kane, was raised in Clarkdale and my grandfather Ben Kane, was sheriff at one time. My great grandfather Big Jim Kane, owned the livery that hauled from the mines in Jerome.
My siblings and I heard stories of the Clark Mansion our entire life.
My great grandfather Jim Kane played poker every Friday night with Mr. Clark.
This is very sad and really sick if it is arson.


Posted: Friday, July 2, 2010
Article comment by: valley resident

This is sad for all who have been around the Verde Valley any length of time. If you care, do something!

Posted: Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Article comment by: Joshua Sims

I always expected the place to get fixed. Who ever did this makes me sick. The place was a landmark of the Verde Valley. I hope the Clarkdale Police Department catch the person.



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