UPDATE: Fire at historic Hope Farm claims life

Published 7:01 pm Friday, March 24, 2023

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NATCHEZ – The fire blazing Friday evening at historic Hope Farm has claimed the life of its owner.

Natchez Police Chief Cal Green said Ethel Banta, 89, was in the home at the time the blaze broke out and has died.

Firefighters are continuing to battle what has been described as a “fierce fire” at the historic house.

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The house, located at 147 Homochitto St., was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. “It’s one of the oldest homes in Natchez and this region,” Historic Natchez Foundation Executive Director Carter Burns said while standing across the street from the home.  “It was once home to the Spanish governor. I’m still watching flames coming out of the attic. There’s smoke everywhere, several trucks and a lot of firemen. It’s a fierce fire.”

We will continue to update this story as information is available.