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Fire burns two historic FDR-era cottages in Georgia

By the CNN Wire Staff
The McCarthy Cottage was built by Franklin Roosevelt, who started traveling to Warm Springs in 1924 seeking to ease his polio.
The McCarthy Cottage was built by Franklin Roosevelt, who started traveling to Warm Springs in 1924 seeking to ease his polio.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Authorities think lightning from a storm may have sparked the fire
  • FDR lived in one of the cottages for four years before he became president

(CNN) -- Two historic cottages in Georgia -- including one that served as a home to Franklin Roosevelt before he became president -- were destroyed by fire Tuesday morning, authorities said.

The cause of the fire remained unknown Tuesday, but authorities said it may have been the result of a storm and lightning in the area.

The so-called McCarthy Cottage and the E.T. Curtis Cottage in Warm Springs were discovered burning around 5:30 a.m. by an employee who lives near the property, according to a news release from the Georgia Department of Labor.

The McCarthy Cottage was the first home built by Roosevelt in Warm Springs, who started traveling to the area in 1924 seeking a solution for his polio, said Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler

The E.T. Curtis cottage was built in 1928 and was adjacent to the McCarthy Cottage. The cottages were part of the Georgia Department of Labor's Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation.

The state assumed ownership of Roosevelt's treatment center in 1974, according to state officials.

Butler said the nation has experienced a great loss with the burning of McCarthy cottage.

"Because President Roosevelt resided there for four years, the McCarthy cottage was the cottage of most historical value." Roosevelt lived in the cottage until 1932 when he moved to the Little White House, also in Warm Springs.

 
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