Fire that destroyed old house is ‘suspicious’

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But fire department will not continue investigation

By Lisa King

Fire investigators have several questions about a blaze that destroyed an old, abandoned house on Mount Eden Road Thursday night.
“It does appear to be suspicious; we found enough [evidence] to lead us to believe it was in fact, set,” said Shelbyville Fire Chief Willard “Tiger” Tucker.

However, Tucker said his department would not continue the investigation.

“We tend to think it was suspicious based on the fact of what we found in some adjoining properties, but we’re not going to pursue an arson case on it, just based on the fact there’s no financial benefit,” he said.

The fire broke out just after 6 p.m. at 1428 Mount Eden Road, just north of the entrance to Osprey Cove and Cloverbrook Farms.

Tucker said that the Shelby County Fire Department assisted in combating the blaze, and that the firefighters’ main objective was to keep the fire from spreading to the outbuildings located on the property.

The house, although long abandoned, was formerly part of a property that included an inn and restaurant.

“There was an older, big house there that was called the Plantation Inn, that was, I think, a bed and breakfast years back,” he said. “And then it was a restaurant before it was torn down in the early 2000s, maybe 2003.”

Tucker said no one had lived in the house that burned down for many years, and that the structure was vacant even when the restaurant was still in operation.

The property is owned by Louisville-based Marshall Realty Company, which owns seven properties in the Mount Eden Road area and others around the county.

Officials from Marshall Realty did not return a phone call from The Sentinel-News seeking comment.

According to The New History of Shelby County, the main house, which was torn down in 2002, was built in 1905 by Phil Weissinger on property that extended from Zaring Mill through to Mount Eden Road. Long known as the Plantation Inn, the neglected main home had several surrounding homes and structures.