Cause of Beaufort County plantation house fire “undetermined”

BEAUFORT COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – The cause of a fire two weeks ago that destroyed a historic Eastern Carolina plantation house has been ruled undetermined.

The Bellefont Plantation House on Robersonville Road, northwest of Washington, dates back to the Revolutionary War.

Multiple fire departments from Beaufort and Pitt counties battled the January 9th fire, with flames shooting from the home.

Nobody was in the home when it burned and no injuries were reported.

The fire happened as an intense storm was moving through the area, with heavy rain and 50-60 mile per hour winds.

The investigation says no lighting was detected in the area at the time, while a tree and power line to the home had fallen.

The home was an event center, with the owner saying it was last used on December 16th.

A report released today says there was no evidence anyone had been around the home and there was no suspected criminal activity at the time of their scene investigation.

The report says the power line that fell could have caused electricity to feed back to the house through the neutral line, but since parts of the home’s electrical system and appliances were destroyed by the fire, investigators say they cannot rule out electrical problems as a possible cause.

Documents from the National Register of Historic Places show that the home once belonged to Reading Blount, who is said to have served as an officer in George Washington’s main army during the American Revolution.

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