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LeBeau Plantation burnsNormally I try to stick to the parishes and plantations surrounding The Cabin Restaurant and Ascension Parish, but there was some sad news from south of New Orleans today.

The article (and following account of the fire below) was originally reported by Carlie Kollath Wells of nola.com and The Times Picayune. Here’s what happened early this morning:

The LeBeau Plantation house was destroyed in a fire early Friday morning in St. Bernard Parish. The Old Arabi landmark was built in the 1850s and was one of the largest plantations south of New Orleans.

Firefighters were called to the plantation around 2 a.m. Friday, according to our news partners at FOX 8. St. Bernard Parish Fire Chief Thomas Stone told FOX 8 that the building was fully engulfed in flames when he arrived on the scene.

Only four chimneys were left standing once firefighters got the flames under control, FOX 8 reported. Collapse zones were set up around the structure to keep responders safe.

“It was a lost cause as soon as we got here,” Stone told FOX 8.

According to FOX 8, Stone called the fire suspicious, but he did not elaborate. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and state fire marshal will investigate the cause Friday.

LeBeau in 1910Built in 1854, the LeBeau Plantation House in Old Arabi has been a private residence, a hotel, a boarding house and an illegal casino. In its heyday, the LeBeau house was one of the largest plantations south of New Orleans.

“This is a devastating loss to the community,” Stone said. “It’s a fire chief’s worst nightmare.”

Stone told FOX 8 the property has been vacant for years. No injuries were reported in Friday’s fire.

Built in 1854, the plantation home has been a private residence, a hotel, a boarding house, and an illegal casino. In its heyday, the LeBeau house was one of the largest plantations south of New Orleans. For more information on the history of LeBeau and and some historic photographs of it, please visit old-new-orleans.com/NO_LeBeau.html

A vacant LeBeau prior to the burning

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