Just days ago, it was considered the state of Mississippi's "priciest" property, but fire officials said Monday that after an early morning blaze, the so-called "Monroe House" is a total loss.
Lightning apparently struck a chimney on the nearly-22,000-square ft. home at 845 E. Scenic Dr. in Pass Christian at around 4 a.m. Monday, officials said. Fortunately, friends said, the only two family members who were home Monday morning were able to escape the blaze without injury.
Fire fighters from several agencies aided the Pass Christian Fire Department in battling the blaze for more than 10 hours on Monday, including personnel from the Diamondhead, Gulfport, Bay St. Louis, Long Beach and Harrison County fire departments; ANG/CTC Fire, AMR, and the Pass Christian Police Department and Public Works.
"We would like to thank all the departments who sent crews, both on duty and off, to help us out today," Pass Christian firefighters said on the department's Facebook page. "We truly could not have done it without y'all. We also want to thank the numerous citizens who brought food, water, and Gatorade to keep us nourished enough to continue. AMR had an awesome team on site that went above and beyond to make sure we stayed hydrated. Once again, thank you everyone."
The Monroe House was still listed on Zillow on Tuesday at $6.5 million. It initially hit the market a year and a half ago at $15 million.
Michele VonHoven-Harang, the listing agent with Watermark Realty who first listed the property, called it “Historical. Exquisite. Original. Remarkable. These are just a few words that describe the Southern hospitality and gracious living of this large estate. The breathtaking view overlooking the Gulf of Mexico cannot be explained until you are standing on the front balcony feeling the breeze calm your soul.”
According to the Pass Christian Historical Society, the main house was built in 1964 by J. Edgar Monroe, a prominent New Orleans businessman, and his wife Louise S. Monroe. It was built to resemble the couple's "Rosecliff Mansion" in Newport, R.I.
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Ramsey purchased the property from the Monroes in 1990 and nearly doubled the size of the house with an east and west wing. The property has been in the Ramsey family ever since.