Crews are tearing down the charred remains of a Briarcliff mansion destroyed by fire earlier this year.
The mid-March fire destroyed the home of Charles and Patty Garner. Crews will spend much of Thursday taking down the home.
Charles and Patty Garney built the Briarcliff development on bluffs just north of the Missouri River and their nearly 15,000-square foot home was a focal point. Motorists could see the iconic home as they drove north on Highway 169. The home had verandas offering sweeping views, and the Garneys often hosted fundraisers and other events for prominent politicians and charity organizations at the home.
The home is now piles of rubble, bricks and debris.
Charles Garney is a businessman. He and his wife are prominent civic leaders in Kansas City, and are well-regarded for their gracious hospitality and support of charitable organizations.
The loss was estimated at $8 million. The family believes the fire was electrical in nature.
Firefighters couldn't determine the actual cause but said the fire started in the attic and was not suspicious in nature.
Patty Garney said it was just as hard to watch the home being demolished as it was when flames roared through it. She remembered the family holidays, parties, charity events and other moments shared inside the home with family and friends.
"I'm not sure which is worse watching in the middle of March the fire that night it burned or being here this morning and watching it come down," she said."The fire was bad enough, but this is a final, difficult morning."
The family remains grateful that no one was injured.
The family is considering its options and may rebuild a smaller home on the site.
"It's been a labor of love for 25 years when Charles put those pieces of property together and had a vision for what became Briarcliff Village," Patty Garney said.
Her daughter, Lisa, struggles with the change to horizon.
"I think one of the most amazing things was the skyline. Now you look it's the same skyline but not the house," she said.
Neighbors said the Garney family has done much over the years for the community and generously opened their doors.
"It's a sad day for the entire community, not just the family," Dub Steincross said.
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