HELL IN TEXAS
Meredith Rae Morgan
Copyright 2011 Meredith Morgan
All Rights Reserved
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The magnificent ranch house that had often been featured in architectural and home design magazines was reduced to a pile of rubble and ash, with its enormous marble fireplace, charred but still standing, in one corner. The local fire chief handed Bev Deller and her fire expert a folder containing photos of the exterior and interior of the house before the fire. It had been a showplace that had cost $8.5 million to build. Furnished, it was insured for in excess of $17 million. Based on the photos Bev worried that it might be under-insured.
The chief launched into a monologue, reviewing the time line of events that led up to the fire. He explained that at the time the fire started the owner, Walker Trent, was at his fishing camp in Tennessee. His ex-wife was in Nashville attending a charity function. Their daughter was away at college and their son was at home in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Bev looked up from the photos, “Wait a minute. Do you mean the house was vacant?”