OAK HILL, Tenn.- Fire damaged the historic Glen Leven home in Nashville Sunday morning. At 160 years old, it survived its share of American history.
"It stood here during the civil war, there was no doubt battles fought across this property skirmishes and the like," said Charles Trost, board member for the Land Trust of Tennessee.
The home was built by the hands of one of Nashville's earliest settlers in the 1700's, Thomas Thompson. The bricks stood firm for decades as a plantation and even civil war hospital, but on Sunday morning, the Glen Leven home in Oak Hill was almost destroyed in mere minutes.
"It looked like a tree had fallen on the backside of the property and hit an electrical line which sent an arc back into the house which hit a gas line that caused the fire," said Nashville Fire Chief Jim Norman.
The home is now vacant and owned by Land Trust For Tennessee. When Trost arrived on scene, he feared this piece of Tennessee's past was gone for good.
"When I came through the back way I wasn't sure what I was going to see, but I was relieved to see it still intact, it quite frankly could've been a lot worse," said Trost.
The home was salvaged by modern technology, firefighters and pure luck. The Trust recently installed fire alarms in house and the noise alerted folks who happened to be in at the neighboring Presbyterian church.
"Today's technology paid off for a historical old structure," said Chief Norman.
It's a pay off that kept the home intact, and gave the walls at least one more survival story to tell.
"If this building gets lost,160 year old building, if it's lost, it's gone forever," said Trost.
The former owner, Susan West, is a descendent of the original owners. She willed the home to the Land Trust for Tennessee in 2006 to preserve the house and the land for future generations.