Fire damages old home in Lipan

December 15, 2012

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One of Lipan’s oldest homes sustained attic damage in a fire on Thursday afternoon, and a member of the family that has owned it since the early 1900s said it may have to be torn down.

Sharrylon Vestal, 64, who was originally from Lipan and now lives in Grapevine, said she was in town with her husband looking at property when the fire erupted in the attic of the wood-frame, single-wall home. She said the home, built in the 1890s, may have been the second-oldest in Lipan. Her grandparents, Sular Ator and his wife Kate, moved into the home after they got married, in about 1913 or 1914, she said.

“It was terrible. I was quite upset,” Vestal said. “I have a lifetime of memories over there.

“I believe it was built in the 1890s, but it may be older than that. All three of their children were born there.”

Sular Ator came to the Lipan area by wagon train from Arkansas in the early 1890s, Vestal said. He owned and operated the general store in Lipan from the early 1900s until the late 1970s. He also was a longtime member of the board of directors at Lipan National Bank, Vestal said.

“We still own the store,” said Vestal, adding that the home is family-owned by her and her brothers and sisters as Joe Ator Estates.

Vestal said the home had furniture, but no one had lived in it since 1996. She was able to save some small furniture pieces and other items, and Hood County Fire Marshal Brian Fine said most of the contents should be salvageable except for some water damage to a couch and some chairs.

Fine said the cause of the fire was believed to be electrical.

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