AUGUSTA- It's been a week since Augusta lost a historic landmark to a devastating fire, but owners Matt and Lori Folkman are looking to the future.
The Bunkhouse Inn was a focal point in Augusta and has been housing visitors since 1912. Matt walked us through the wreckage and explained his plans to rebuild.
“Somehow… my goal is that we can rescue this and turn it into some cool piece of memorabilia you know… That’s why this is laying out here… I’m in the process of trying to get this dismantled," said Folkman.
Crews Battled the fire for nearly 14 hours and Folkman was right beside them helping fight the blaze.
“It was a tough night to fight a fire and they never gave up," said Lynn Kenyon, a business owner and chamber member in Augusta.
“I think worse than fighting the fire, that desperation was the call I had to make saying hey it’s time to tear it down before we lose neighboring buildings and things like that. The hope at one point was that we would be able to stop the fire, get it put out, we realized at that point that it was pretty much a total loss. But to be able to at least walk through a burnt-out building left a little bit of hope that you might be able to rescue that one antique or piece of artwork or personal belonging or whatever," said Folkman.
Officials and Folkman say the cause of the fire is undetermined. But Folkman says faulty wiring could have been the cause.
“They found some areas that they thought potentially it might be some faulty wiring in the walls," said Folkman.
Their goal is to rebuild.
“Our real hope is that we can build something back there again and I tell people we want to start the next hundred years of history there… We feel like we can’t replace the history that was lost and the charm of the building. But our goal and hope would be that we can bring that back to a new level. Yeah, so rebuild is what we’d like to do," said Folkman.
In the meantime, the Folkman's are clinging on to the Bunkhouse Inn memories everyone is sharing on social media.
Matt says it's those memories that are making it possible to even think about rebuilding this piece of history.
“For us, it’s always been important and this is just a good reminder that we invest in relationships and not things and that’s you know those wake-up calls you get from time to time and things go away but the memories and relationships that we have with other people are what we can carry forever," said Folkman.
"That’s kind of the Augusta spirit, you never give up," said Kenyon.
Matt says the skyline of Augusta has been forever changed with this loss.
If you'd like to donate, you can find the GoFundMe page here.