Crantzdorf Estate - also known as Grindstaff Castle, the Johnson City, TN home of prominent businessman Steve Grindstaff and his family, was severely burned by a fire that broke out Saturday evening.
The estate, currently listed for sale on Luxuryrealestate.com for $28.5 million, is a 20,000+ square foot home which sits on 13 acres of lakefront property on Boone Lake.
Firefighters arrived at the scene shortly after the initial alarm came in at 8:11 pm and were unable to enter the property due to the large gate at the entrance. Power to the gate was out and it took firefighters several minutes to move it out of the way.
Although no one was home at the time the fire broke out, Grindstaff, who had taken his wife Ashley out to dinner for her birthday, rushed home when he was alerted of the news and was able to rescue family dogs inside the home as firefighters fought the blaze.
About 25 firefighters worked for 2 1/2 hours to contain the fire, and another few hours to ensure there were no lingering hotspots.
Fire marshals were on the scene early today to investigate, and although there is no preliminary report at this time, the fire began during a storm, and neighbors believe lightning may have struck the tower of the home. One neighbor reported seeing a huge flash and hearing a "big boom" around 7:30.
Fire and water damage left the building unoccupiable, although two adjoining wings were not damaged by the fire.
Work began early today to salvage furnishings from the home.
Details of the 9 bedroom estate, which took over 10 years to complete, include antique fireplaces, grand ceilings, hand cast moldings, Italian marble floors, stained glass, a world class theater, indoor basketball court, large pool and a replica of the Bristol Motor Speedway complete with six cars.
Attempts to reach Steve Grindstaff were unsuccessful.
View photos of Crantzdorf Estate, also known as Grindstaff Castle, below.
lead photo: Lee Talbert/Johnson City Press
all other photos via luxuryrealestate.com