The former DeSoto County Sunrise Home for Girls was gutted by fire late Friday in a blaze that completely destroyed the three-story structure.
Hernando Fire Chief Hubert Jones said the former Girls Home, which was unoccupied at the time, was totally destroyed.
The house, built in the late 60s or early 70s, was located near the intersection of Oak Grove Road and Wren Street. The dwelling was listed for sale at the time of the fire.
"When we pulled up to the scene, the home was fully involved in flames," Jones said, adding he received the call to the scene about 2 a.m. Saturday. "The top floor and roof were completely burnt off. It was a total loss."
There were no utilities connected to the rambling structure at the time.
Arson is among the possibilities that fire investigators are probing as to to the cause and nature of the fire.
Neighbors said area youth and children often frequented the home. Graffiti was said to be scrawled on the inside of the home, which was open and unsecured.
"We don't know whether it was deliberately set or not," Jones said. "There was no one supposed to be at the house."
Jones said more than a dozen firefighters battled the blaze in the early morning hours Saturday.
The fire remains under investigation by the Fire Marshal and investigators.
Robert Lee Long is Community Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at email@example.com or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252.