Posted at: 09/03/2013 6:44 PM
Updated at: 09/03/2013 10:18 PM
By: John McLoughlin
GUILDERLAND - It was known as the "Olsen Twins House" because years ago, the famous showbiz sisters were rumored to be interested in buying the Guilderland mansion, which burned to the ground overnight.
This house was huge, 10,000 square feet, six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, but it was vacant, with no one living there.
Neighbors say that's a really good thing, because firefighters had trouble getting water and neighbors are pretty upset about that.
The nearest fire hydrant was nearly a quarter of a mile away, but firefighters say it already was too late to save the vacant mansion, and they just kept their distance.
“We went into a defensive mode, not offensive, because there was no way to save the home and so we were concerned for the safety of the firefighters,” said Fort Hunter Fire Chief Bill Fleming.
“It was very frightening and very scary,” said neighbor Marie Folderman.
Neighbors say for years, they've asked the town for public water, and for fire hydrants, with no luck.
“It was a vacant house, but suppose it was an occupied house and all with children and whatever,” said Holderman.
“If it was windy out, it could have been a disaster,” says Susan Fraley, another neighbor.
Now, just a heap of rubble, in place of a home that once was priced at a million and a half dollars.
10,000 square feet of opulent fixtures and spacious rooms.
Show biz twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen once were rumored to be interested so one of them could attend college locally, but the home harbored problems.
The original owner died during construction and the current owner is said to have invested a million dollars but it was in foreclosure, a sale pending for half that amount as it went up in flames.
“If the wind was blowing maybe five miles an hour, a couple of homes could have gone up on this street,” said Fraley.
Guilderland Supervisor Ken Runion tells NewsChannel 13 that he has "run the numbers" many times and there is no way that the town can extend public water, and hence, fire hydrants, to that section of the town.
He says the state puts a limit on the amount of money that a homeowner can be charged for being "hooked up" so to speak, and there simply are not enough homes in that area to pay the freight.
The cause of the fire still being investigated.