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Historic Martin Clardy home burns

It is a home that was built in the late 1800’s by a gentleman named Martin L. Clardy and his wife, Elizabeth Cayce Clardy. The historic Farmington was damaged by fire on the evening of Jan. 1.

After being a private residence to many families, the home took the name of its original owner more than 100 years later and was opened as a tearoom in 2001, to be followed up with the addition of bed and breakfast services in 2002.

Today, a yellow caution tape hangs across the front door following the fire Sunday night. A note posted on a tree at the end of the driveway warns tresspassers to stay away.

Owners Kathy and Tom Donze had recently announced they were closing the restaurant and bed and breakfast at the end of 2005. In fact, the last customers had left the bed and breakfast the morning of the blaze. The last supper was served in the restaurant just the night before.

In a story from Monday’s Daily Journal, Donze said she smelled smoke just before 6 p.m. on Sunday evening while in her residence behind the business. The heaviest fire damage was to the back of the historic home where the laundry room, freezer, walk-in cooler and one dining room were now located. The kitchen was also heavily damaged.

&#8220I smelled it inside my house before I saw the flames … I looked out and saw flames,” she said.

Donze also said although there is some damage to the interior of the home &#8220everything is black, but salvageable”.

On Wednesday, it was reported that State Fire Marshal Rodger Windle was leaving the cause of the fire as undetermined. He was to leave it classified as such since the cause is still under investigation. Initially the fire was believed to have possibly started due to some type of electrical malfunction.

&#8220It will remain under investigation for an indefinite period of time until I get more information,” Windle said.

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