In its heyday, this seemingly luxurious estate in Gretna, Neb., was described as the "finest mansion in all of Sarpy County." But soon it will be burned to the ground, set on fire room-by-room as part of firefighter training for the Gretna Volunteer Fire Department, the Omaha World-Herald reported
The 14,000-square-foot palace was built in 1997 by former Buffalo Bills safety Rod Kush
, who also owned a chain of small-furniture stores. But he sold the home 10 years later after financial troubles hit. The mansion changed hands a couple of times until a developer snapped it up for only $612,000 in 2010.
Years of vacancy have seen the house vandalized and overrun with mold, and in July 2011, Sarpy County Assessor Dan Pittman concluded that the home was worthless.
"At one time there was nothing like it in Sarpy County, with that big staircase like something out of 'Gone With the Wind,' " Pittman told the World-Herald
. "But it got to the point where there was standing water in the house, and it wasn't safe to enter it without a mask."
Now the current owner wants the house gone so that he can make way for a new development on the land. And instead of a regular demolition, he thought he'd make good use of the derelict mansion. He's giving it to the fire department, which will set fire to the home room-by-room for a controlled burn.
"When we get the amount of training we need -- or the house becomes unstable -- we'll call everybody out," Fire Chief Rod Buethe told the World-Herald
. Then the building will be burned to the ground. "We'll be doing the research to find at what temperature will metal lose its strength," Beuthe added.
No date has been set for the exercise, but the department will likely wait for some rain or snow to make sure that the fire doesn't spread.
Want to see what a controlled burn looks like? Click through the gallery below to see one in Granville, Ohio.
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