‘Suspicious' Fire Engulfs Capitola Mansion

A "suspicious" two-alarm fire caused severe damage to the Rispin Mansion in Capitola on Thursday.

View images of blaze.

The blaze broke out at about 4:30 a.m. at the unoccupied building on Wharf Road, fire officials said.

Officials with the Capitola Fire Department said they are investigating the fire as suspicious.

The Rispin Mansion is currently owned by the City of Capitola and is a historical museum.

H. Allen Rispin, a wealthy San Franciscan, bought the mansion at the end of World War I. Rispin ended up going broke by 1928 and lost the 22-room mansion in 1930-31.

According to the Rispin Mansion historical Web site, the home was then sold to Burlingame millionaire Robert Hays Smith.

The Smith family ran into financial problems during the Great Depression and the mansion was eventually sold to the Catholic Church for use as a convent.

The City of Capitola bought the mansion in 1986, and in 1991, Rispin Mansion was put on a list of historic places in California.

For years, ghost stories and supernatural events have been associated with the Rispin Mansion.

This article originally appeared on KSBW.com

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