LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- Preservationists in Little Rock are distraught after a historic home burned to the ground Wednesday night.
“I was hoping that it wasn’t this bad,” said Patricia Blick, Executive Director of Quapaw Quarter Association.
The Schmelzer house was built more than 100 years ago at 1414 Park Lane, just south of Interstate 630.
The Fire Department is still investigating the cause of the fire, However, the department said the home has been uninhabited for nearly 30 years and no utilities have been on.
“It was a very large fire but I was not really prepared to see complete devastation,” said Blick.
Less than 24 hours later, we met Patricia Blick where the house stood in 1907.
Blick said she’s devastated because the house had so much potential.
“We had this glimmer of hope that this house was going to be saved and rehabilitated and contributing again to this historic area that is under awesome revitalization and so when we got the news that this house had sustained a fire and when I saw the extent of the fire I was just sick,” said Blick.
Blick isn’t the only preservationist who is upset by the fire.
“It’s sad to see another historic house parish,” said Denise Ennett, State representative for District 36.
Denise Ennet is an Arkansas State Representative and also a neighbor of this antique home.
“I have a historic home, we live in one and my heart bleeds a little bit that it could not have been saved,” said Ennet, “I think it’s like a phoenix rising from the ashes, something else beautiful will come.”
Other neighbors and city workers said this home has been condemned for decades. It’s unsafe, its an eyesore and its been empty for some time so they view this as an opportunity for something great.