Jan 20, 2014 7:34 PM by Akeam Ashford

Original Verot School Rd. Homeowner Remembers Past

Tonight, fire investigators continue to pour through what once was a majestic home on Verot School Road in Lafayette.

The multi-million dollar mansion was reduced to its pillars on Sunday afternoon. According to the home's current owners, a motorcycle that was running in the garage likely caused the fire.

Today, firefighters remained on scene putting out hotspots.

Jennifer LeBlanc and her husband were the original owners. LeBlanc says her husband wanted the pillars in front of the 18,000 square-foot residence to be the first and last thing visitors saw.

"It was his standing joke. My husband would say in 200 years from the now, the house may not be here, but these pillars will remain," LeBlanc said.

LeBlanc husband, Patrick Leblanc, was a well-known Lafayette architect and business man. He was killed in a plane crash back in 2008.

"He always said that if he did well that he had a dream house he wanted to build for himself, and this was his dream house," LeBlanc said.

It took LeBlanc five years to design and build the home, finishing it in 2003 at an estimated $5,000,000.

LeBlanc says the house was not only famous for its beauty inside and out; it also served host to former Vice President Dick Cheney.

One of the most memorable visits, though, came from former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

"We were in the backyard near the pool, and every time he would pause one of the goats would start baying in the back, and he just finally stopped and burst out laughing," Leblanc said.

LeBlanc was told about Sunday's fire from a family friend. Her thoughts remained primarily with the new homeowners and their safety.

"Of course I wanted to make sure everybody was okay. I knew there were children in the family, and he said right away he saw them outside of the house," LeBlanc said.

Investigators say it will most likely take several weeks to determine the official cause of the fire because of the size of the house.


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