Fire Destroys Historic Home

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A fire allegedly set by a resident last month destroyed a cottage at a Georgia home that was created for children orphaned by the Civil War.

Leigh Cottage was one of seven cottages on the campus of the historic United Methodist Children’s Home, which was founded in 1871. The Decatur facility evolved into a multi-service agency that offers residential foster care, after-care, counseling, referrals, parenting classes and other programs that serve more than 1,500 youth annually.

The 144-acre campus houses up to 72 boys and girls. The 56-year-old Leigh Cottage housed seven boys, ages 16 to 18. No one was injured.

The home’s program director, Jeffrey Amos, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that a staff member present at the time of the incident told him that a boy started the fire after arguing with another resident.

Another official said the residents would be taken shopping for new clothes and other items.

“As a youngster in the foster care system, you don’t have a lot to begin with,” Amos told the newspaper. Imagine that “what little you have has just been burned.”

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