BEEVILLE – The Texas Fire Marshal’s Office was called to investigate an early morning house fire Friday, Nov. 1, that destroyed a historic downtown home.

The historic, two-story home at 201 N. Adams St. had been vacant for years when the fire broke out, firefighters said.

The Beeville Volunteer Fire Department was called to the scene at 7:13 a.m. Friday, and by the time firefighters arrived, the wooden structure was engulfed in flames.

The fire department, said Fire Chief Bill Burris, responded by sending its Tower 1 truck to the scene along with three of its big engine trucks. Burris said a nearby water leak hampered firefighting efforts of those at the scene who had to call for assistance from the BVFD’s Tanker 1 and compressed air foam trucks.

Personnel and trucks were on the scene putting out hot spots and smoldering lumber until almost noon.

Burris said efforts were also complicated by a call from the Beeville Police Department dispatcher regarding a vehicle fire around the corner near the intersection of East Bowie and North Buchanan streets.

Volunteer firefighters from Pawnee, Normanna, Skidmore, Tynan and George West also sent fire trucks to the scene.

Burris said 12 out-of-town volunteers joined 22 local firemen to battle the blaze.

Thought to have been constructed in 1910, this was the home of John R. Beasley and Lillian Scott Beasley and their five children, John C.,  Scottie, Annie Mary, Martha and Betty, said local attorney Tom Beasley. The only remaining member of this household is Martha, who is 93.

“It is my belief that my grandfather likely supervised the construction of the house, as it reflected his personality – sturdy, strong, somewhat austere, and always utilitarian,” Beasley said. 

While Beasley wasn’t certain of the exact year of construction, he knows it survived the 1919 hurricane that hit Beeville, “as my father related how the winds raged and the rain blew sideways to the point that wind-driven rainwater accumulated on interior walls of the house, forming large drops that dripped ominously down the walls.  

“Even more attention-getting were the winds that caused the exterior walls to move in and out.”

The family sold the home in 2002.

Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 343-5221, or at media@mySouTex.com.