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Walters Barn destroyed by fire

POSTED: March 11, 2013 6:39 p.m.

A fire Monday afternoon destroyed a lot of memories, Jim Walters said.

The burned structure, the Walters Barn, served as a venue for events such as weddings as well as political fundraisers for the likes of Gov. Nathan Deal and U.S. Rep. Doug Collins. It’s in northeast Hall County on the 7700 block of Persimmon Tree Road between Ga. 52 and Belton Bridge Road.

“Making me cry almost to think about it,” said Walters, who said he has owned the property between 10 and 15 years and developed the 350-acre tract where the barn is located. “We got memories to remember. That’s all we’ve got left is memories because there’s nothing else left for sure. It is absolutely, totally destroyed.”

Hall County firefighters were called to the fire at about 1 p.m. on a report of smoke in the area, Fire Chief David Kimbrell said.

When they arrived, they found that the structure was engulfed in flames, the chief said.

“There are no hydrants close to the area,” Kimbrell said.

Walters noted that a lot of heart pine was used in the facility and likely burned quickly. The fire also destroyed memorabilia, antiques and specially made furniture.

The structure included an event area on the first floor and a three-bedroom apartment on the second floor.

It was unclear Monday night what may have caused the blaze.

Walters said a wedding was scheduled for the facility this weekend and he’ll work to refer the couple to another venue.

Staff writer Jeff Gill contributed to this report.

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