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89-year-old remains positive after Hereford house burns down

The historic house is believed to have stood since 1903
Arthur Thompson's Hereford house after the Williams fire.
Posted at 5:35 PM, Apr 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-19 20:36:36-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — While most houses remained untouched when the Williams Fire burned through Cochise County in early April, one Hereford resident lost the home that has been in the family since the 1930s.

“This was the historic house,” said Liz Roy, the neighbor to the house that burned down.

Antique furniture and historic paintings all burned to the ground, as well as a tractor left melted.

The person who loved that tractor and the Hereford land is 89-year-old Arthur Thompson.

He has an optimistic outlook on life.

RELATED: Hereford residents emphasize the importance of fire safety

“You can either dwell on the past or look towards the future,” said Thompson.

A fireplace and a broken patio are some of the only structures that remain from the house believed to be built in 1903.

Thompson’s father bought the house in the 1930s. He later took over the ranch.

“It was elegantly decorated. Not like a ranch house. More like a big city house,” said Thompson.

A very lively house is described by Thompson’s neighbor, Liz Roy.

“There was a fountain here and they would have parties here back in the 50s,” said Roy.

Thompson is almost 90 years old, but young at heart.

“I'm very immature. I've been accused of immaturity all my life,” he said.

He definitely doesn’t dwell on the past and looks towards the future.

“I realized that we just have to move forward,” said Thompson.

He’s staying in Tucson now, and if you’re wondering if he’s going to rebuild:

“I haven't decided yet,” said Thompson.

That’s still up for debate.

"Yeah, I got a long future ahead of me. I'm very, very optimistic going to having a long life…and you too!" he said.

Faith Abercrombie is a reporter for KGUN 9. Before coming to KGUN, Faith worked as a videographer for the Phoenix Children's Hospital Foundation and as a reporter and producer on the youth suicide documentary, "Life is..." on Arizona PBS.
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