Susan B. Anthony House: Fire officials are investigating a ‘suspicious’ blaze at the historic residence


The Rochester Fireplace Department (RFD) responded about 1:00 a.m. to an computerized hearth alarm at the home that the moment belonged to Anthony, a leader of the women’s suffrage movement. The hearth burned via the home’s again porch.

The Rochester Fire Investigation Unit mentioned the lead to of the fireplace as suspicious, but the ultimate cause stays undetermined and is nevertheless under investigation, RFD spokesperson Lt Jeffrey Simpson instructed CNN.

Cameras on the home confirmed a particular person standing in the again garden and on the again porch suitable ahead of the hearth started, Susan B. Anthony Museum and Property president Deborah Hughes told CNN.

“We will not know why a person would do this, it could have been a random or intentional act, or it could have been another person responding to the museum becoming a supporter of women’s legal rights since we are in a contentious period. It really is tricky to know for sure,” Hughes claimed.

Firefighters relocated artifacts into a safe section of the household and took excellent care coming into the home, halting any extension of hearth, smoke, or h2o problems from moving into the house, according to Simpson.

“The firefighters ended up so mindful with the artifacts, even moving pictures though preserving them in the suitable purchase,” Hughes stated. “They have been particularly conscientious about creating absolutely sure not far too considerably h2o got into the household.”

The again porch, which was above 100 yrs previous, was a total decline and was taken down to secure the framework and make guaranteed the residence was harmless, Simpson stated.

“The hurt to the developing was purely on the exterior back again porch of the construction,” he included. “There was some minor extension into the constructing for the reason that it broke via the doorway, but it was only some h2o and smoke problems on the first ground.”

The property was crafted in 1859, and Anthony lived in the residence — which also grew to become headquarters of the Nationwide American Girl Suffrage Affiliation — from 1866 to 1906, the calendar year she died.

“The Rochester Fire Section has prolonged understood the importance that this house holds each to our local local community as effectively as the nation,” Battalion Chief Joseph Luna mentioned in a statement. “A wonderful task was accomplished by the firefighters tonight in restricting the consequences of the hearth on both the museum and its displays.”

Anthony is regarded for her perform for lady suffrage and her arrest just after voting in the 1872 presidential election when it was unlawful for women of all ages to do so. She also spoke out versus slavery and was instrumental in acquiring colleges to confess women.

“Anthony was all about seeking to make a a lot more just society and we just hope that what persons get out of coming to the residence inspires them to continue this get the job done,” Hughes claimed.

The defiant suffragist worked tirelessly for voting rights for females, but died 14 yrs right before the 19th Amendment — later on identified as the Susan B. Anthony Modification — was ratified in 1920.

“It is so crystal clear how considerably this household matters to the neighborhood, our neighbors, and even our firefighters. They have been deeply moved with not only taking the duty seriously, but experience like this is a nationwide treasure,” Hughes mentioned. “What could have been genuinely tragic, thanks to the amazing perform of the firefighters, was a unhappy reduction but we will be alright.”

The course of action to rebuild a back again porch will start as quickly as doable, Hughes mentioned.



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