ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — A St. Paul family says it spent decades trying to restore a historic house only for a fire to destroy it.
The mansion was just footsteps from the Cathedral of St. Paul.
The fire broke out on 251 Dayton Avenue Tuesday afternoon, causing extensive damage to the home.
According to the Minnesota Historical Society, the mansion was known as the Stanford Newel House and built in the 1860s.
But for the family who had lived there since the mid-70s, it was home.
After the fire, the original limestone brick outside was still intact, but inside there is noticeably charred wood and broken windows.
“This is devastating,” said Kim Aughenbaugh, the mother of Dana Aughenbaugh, who lived in the home with his girlfriend and her grandparents.
They all got out during the fire, but two cats died.
“They’re very affectionate toward their pets, so that was a great loss,” Kim Aughenbaugh said.
Dana Aughenbaugh told WCCO-TV that his girlfriend’s grandparents bought the historic mansion in the 1970s.
City records show there were a handful of complaints against the homeowners in the last 15 years for things like burning trash and junk in the yard.
A GoFundMe page for the family says they expect to be out of a place to live for at least a year.
“They still need a place to live,” Kim Aughenbaugh said. “In the meantime, they don’t have anything. They need everything.”
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
It is unclear if the homeowners will rebuild or be able to save this piece of St. Paul history.
Dana Aughenbaugh said three renters also lived at the home.