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Fire destroys historic, century-old farmhouse in Apex

A historic home dating to the height of tobacco production in western Wake County was destroyed in an early-morning fire Wednesday.

Firefighters responded to the 110-year-old house on Green Level West Road in Apex, near the border of Wake and Chatham counties, at about 3:30 a.m., said Carolyn Roman, spokeswoman for the town of Cary.

Crews from the Apex, Cary and North Chatham fire departments fought the blaze until about 6 a.m., Roman said. The fire destroyed the home, she said.

Two adults were in the house when the fire was reported, but there were no injuries, according to the town of Cary. The Wake County fire marshal is handling the investigation.

The James Madison Williams House, built close to 1909, was a “rare surviving intact centerpiece of a historic farmscape,” according to Capital Area Preservation Inc.

The house is on the organization’s list of Wake County landmarks. President Gary Roth said the home was among a cluster that may have been built by one or a group of craftsmen.

The James Madison Williams House’s turret and size made it stand out, he said.

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