Note: This story was last updated at 1 p.m. July 8.
A historic house that once served as a home and headquarters for Gen. Leslie R. Groves during the top-secret Manhattan Project in World War II was heavily damaged in a fire early Monday morning.
No injuries were reported in the house fire, which was reported at 1:36 a.m. Monday.
The one-story stone bungalow at 151 Oak Ridge Turnpike is known as the Luther Brannon House, and it’s just west of Melton Lake Drive and next to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information. It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and it was the first home in Oak Ridge to be privately owned.
Oak Ridge Fire Department Chief Darryl Kerley said it appears that the Monday morning fire started in the kitchen. Owner Danny Brannon and his daughter were returning from a movie when they found the home on fire. They opened the front door and found the home filled with hot, black smoke, an ORFD press release said. Brannon opened the basement door to find that area clear, but he found fire coming from the kitchen window in the back of the house. The family called 911.
“We have not been able to determine what the cause is,” Kerley said. The Fire Department is waiting for an insurance company, which is sending an investigator and claims adjuster, before continuing its investigation. [Read more...]