Governors Mansion Torched
committed a crime against the country , this also was a national landmark. Today like most Texans , I feel a sense of sadness and anger regarding this dastardly act of evil.
Austin American-Statesman News Report
Arson is suspected in a fire that swept through the historic Texas Governor's Mansion early Sunday and left much of the 152-year-old home charred and severely damaged, the state fire marshal said.
"We have some evidence that indicates that we do have an intentionally set fire," said state Fire Marshal Paul Maldonado. "So we believe that we may be looking at a criminal act here."
He called it a "devastating loss to the state of Texas."
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms was sending in a national response team to help investigate, Maldonado said. He did not offer details on how the fire may have been set or whether there was a suspect.
There were security cameras on the premises, and investigators are surveying the surrounding area, he said.
About 100 firefighters responded when an alarm when off just before 2 a.m. No one was inside at the time. Perry and his wife, Anita, temporarily moved out last fall when the mansion began a $10 million renovation that was scheduled to be completed next year.
For several hours they used hoses that shot 1,000 gallons of water per minute at the blaze, Black said.
Small hot spots were still smoldering more than six hours after the fire began. Puffs of smoke continued to billow from the building. Water streamed down the front sidewalk and onto a city street for hours.
State officials said they hoped that the Greek Revival-style mansion -- first occupied by Gov. Elisha Marshall Pease -- was not destroyed, but clearly damage was extensive.
"It is bordering on catastrophic. The roof has not yet collapsed. The structure is still intact," said Allison Castle, a Perry spokeswoman.