But, “as a result of tests on fire debris and other evidence collected at the house ... the state Fire Marshal’s Office has determined that an electrical fault in conduit near the entrance to the home was the cause of the fire, not arson,” park police spokesperson John Bankhead told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday.
The fire marshal’s office confirmed the ruling.
No flammables or accelerants were found at the site, Bankhead added, and the burglar alarm would have been triggered when the power went out.
By the time fire crews arrived Tuesday, the home’s top level was engulfed in flames. It had been fully furnished with pre-Civil War era antiques, but after the fire and subsequent water damage, it was deemed a total loss, Bankhead said.
No injuries were reported.
The 14-room, two-story home, also known as the Davis House, was originally built in Dickey — about 30 miles west of Albany — on a 1,000-acre plantation sometime between the 1840s and 1850s, according to AJC archives. It was built by Charles Milton Davis, who went on to become a colonel in the Confederate Army.
It was moved to Stone Mountain Park in 1961 to create the historic square, formerly known as the Stone Acres Plantation and later as the Antebellum Plantation. Several other structures were imported around the same time and still stand.
The house, which faces Stone Mountain’s Confederate memorial carving, was considered “an example of antebellum wealth and beauty,” according to the park’s official guide.