That smoke you saw early this morning on your commute along Interstate 10 to work? That was a generation's worth of plans and hard work wafting into the Tucson sky.
Fire gutted an 8,000-square foot custom home on West Green Street, northwest of I-10 and 22nd, on Monday morning, turning black the clock on a construction project that has been ongoing since 1995.
The love child of local small business owner Jose Herrera, the three-story 'Green House' as it came to be known caught fire just after 6 a.m. When firefighters arrived not long after, the flames were so bad the approach quickly became a defensive one that was meant mostly to stop the fire from spreading to other properties.
The Green House, which could easily be seen rising up from above its one-story neighbors in Barrio Kroeger as you drove along I-10, was finally starting to show some progress in the last few months after years of almost laying dormant as Herrera struggled to finance and get proper permits for the project.
Tucson Fire has not determined the cause of the fire, which caused no injuries to either area residents or the 23 firefighters from 10 units that were called out to battle the blaze.
I had a chance to speak with Herrera about four years ago when working on a story about his dream home for another (ahem) publication, and despite all of the hurdles he'd faced to build the structure he still seemed optimistic. Who knows if that'll be the case now.