News with a View: The St. Charles Ave. mansion fire

Kaare Johnson gives his "News with a View" Mondays and Wednesdays on WGNO's News with a Twist at 6 p.m.

NEW ORLEANS -- Last week in New Orleans was as bad as it gets.

If you're a native New Orleanian or someone that moved here and has fallen in love with our city, last Wednesday morning was heartbreaking.

The Montgomery/Grace mansion on St. Charles Avenue at Third Street was mostly destroyed by a morning fire. The seven-alarm blaze essentially gutted the pre-Civil War home.

And that's exactly what it was: a home. For Bill Grace and his wife Anne. And Anne's mother, too.

How New Orleans is that? It's their home. And their kids' home. Where their children grew up. Where they celebrated Mardi Gras and celebrated life.

It's devastating to the Montgomery and Grace family. And it's devastating to anyone in New Orleans that cares.

A nearly 160-year-old home. When it was first completed, California had just joined our country as the 31st state. A lot of history was lost last Wednesday, irreplaceable history that is uniquely ours.

It makes you want to cry. Makes your heart ache. A little part of New Orleans just died and it hurts your soul if you care at all about this city.

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