Historic homeowner offers advice after home goes up in flames - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Historic homeowner offers advice after home goes up in flames

This historic home went up in flames Friday afternoon (Source: WALB) This historic home went up in flames Friday afternoon (Source: WALB)
Phil Cannon (Source: WALB) Phil Cannon (Source: WALB)
Cannon says a tree branch fell on his power lines, ripping the weather head from his home. (Source: WALB) Cannon says a tree branch fell on his power lines, ripping the weather head from his home. (Source: WALB)
Cannon shows the antique chandeliers that survived the house fire. (Source: WALB) Cannon shows the antique chandeliers that survived the house fire. (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

We're getting a closer look at the devastating aftermath of a downtown Albany house fire.

The home, which many folks remember as the Keaton house, is close to 160 years old. 

WALB News 10's Catherine Patterson got to tour the house with the homeowner Phil Cannon. 

He shared his advice for homeowners to prevent this tragedy from happening to them.  

This was more than a building to Cannon.  

This was his home, and more importantly this was a place many folks in Albany love. 

Through the collapsed roofing, and the charred rubble, you get a glimpse into the historic beauty salvaged among the damage. 

"They're original, 120-year-old chandeliers.  I was very worried about those," Cannon explains as he shows the antique light fixtures. 

"(The firefighters) knew (the chandeliers) were here when they came in, so they took particular care," he said.  

History and memories are all hidden beneath these walls. 

"We think a plumber had his cigarettes, he leaned over, and when he did, his pack of cigarettes fell out into the wall. And when we took the wall apart, we found them.  So they've probably been there 50 years," said Cannon. 

Cannon has spent the last 16 months renovating this historic home to bring it back to its original beauty. 

But on Friday afternoon, this home on Pine Avenue became an inferno, putting a halt to Cannon's plans. 

"I went from about a million small projects in a two or three year project," he said, "Now it's about two million small projects and about a five year project."

Albany Firefighters worked tirelessly for several hours to contain the fire, dousing flames from every direction.

It was a fire Cannon said could happen to you too. 

"You can see the pecan limb here, fell from here," said Cannon. 

The limb fell on electrical wires, ripping the weather head off his home. 

"It snatched it to here, and so all of these wires started sparking, so this is where it started," he said.

Cannon said if it wasn't for the firefighters, his dream home would be destroyed. 

"At this point, they are like war heroes," said Cannon.  "They had a job to do, and they came in here and did it.  I was proud of them."

And when it comes to continuing the renovation, he said he is not a quitter. 

"Hopefully I can give Albany back something that it's lost," said Cannon.  "It's 160 years that you just can't get back.  I'll go down in history somehow.  We'll figure it out!"

Cannon encourages all homeowners to look around your property.  

Check for dying trees or hanging limbs among electrical wires.  

Taking those proactive steps and removing those trees and limbs could save you from a devastating fire like this one. 

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