Pacific Grove’s 128-year-old LaPorte Mansion Fire

Pacific Grove's 128-year-old LaPorte Mansion

The LaPorte Mansion, a well-known 128-year-old landmark just outside of Pacific Grove’s downtown area and a filming location for the 1959 film A Summer Place, caught fire this morning, Friday, May 26, suffering extensive damage.

UPDATE: The fire began after the man living at the home noticed smoke inside and went to investigate, according to Monterey Fire Chief Gaudenz Panholzer. The man attempted to extinguish the fire from above through a window using a fire extinguisher but was unsuccessful. He was able to escape without injury.

The Monterey Fire Department was dispatched at 9:48 am and arrived soon after. When crews arrived they could see flames on the exterior of the house facing Lighthouse Avenue, Panholzer says. Unfortunately, the fire had already traveled inside the walls and up to the attic. 

Old Victorian homes used balloon-framed construction, where the exterior of the structure is built first and the walls are added inside, Panholzer explains. It creates a space between the exterior walls and interior walls from the ground up to the attic. Once a fire gets inside that space, it travels straight up and overtakes the attic. “It’s very, very difficult to fight those fires,” he says.