Copper theft destroys historic home near AL Governor's Mansion

Copper theft destroys historic home near AL Governor's Mansion
Damage to ceiling of the historic home. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Damage to ceiling of the historic home. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Mold and mildew have spread through the home after a water pipe was burst. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Mold and mildew have spread through the home after a water pipe was burst. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Damage to the historic home caused by copper theft and water damage. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Damage to the historic home caused by copper theft and water damage. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Water has caused the house's floors to bow. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Water has caused the house's floors to bow. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Copper thieves have destroyed a historic home just a few blocks from the Alabama Governor's Mansion. A real estate agent went to show the house Monday but was greeted with water pouring from the ceiling.

From the outside, the 1914 house on South Perry Street looks like another another of the beautiful, historic residences that line the street. But take a step inside and you will find a different story.

Parts of the ceiling are on the floor. The walls are drooping, and the flooring is bowed. That doesn't take into account the mold and the smell of mildew.

"The house was in really good shape, very good condition," said Frank Powell, the listing agent. "This is devastating to the seller."

Powell says the house was vacant and on the market waiting for a new owner when it became a hot spot for copper thieves. He believes a thief or thieves cut copper from the A/C unit and then went under the house and into the attic for more of the metal. It's believed at some point during the theft a water pipe broke.

"There's hardly a room in this house that's not affected," Powell explained as he looked at the damage.

"I just can't believe someone would do that," added Justin McBee, who is with K&M Property Maintenance Services. He did contract work on the home before it was destroyed.

Now, cost estimates to repair the damage are more than $60,000.

"Every wall pretty much in this home is going to have to be taken down and put back up," McBee said. "The trim around all the doors, the doors, the flooring, everything is going to have to be redone."

There is hope the home can be returned back to its original condition.

"Old houses can take a lot of punishment," Powell said. "They are made out of really strong materials where a newer house would probably be demolished. So it can be restored and be a great house once again." The agent added, "We just hate that it happened for the seller, and he's having to go through all of this."

Powell believes the theft happened sometime over the holidays.

To add insult to injury, the stolen copper that resulted in $60,000 in damages, is only believed to be worth around $50 to $100.

Powell is hopeful insurance will cover the cost of repair.

If you have any information about the crime, you are asked to call the Montgomery Police Department.

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