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Race Car Driver Irvan’s Home Burns

March 26, 2000

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (AP) _ A fire caused extensive damage Saturday at the rural estate of retired race car driver Ernie Irvan.

The home, estimated to be worth more than $1 million, caught fire about 1:30 p.m. while Irvan was vacationing in the Bahamas. No injuries were reported, including to horses the Irvans raised on their farm.

One room in Irvan’s home was full of trophies, awards, old racing suits and photographs.

He is co-owner of Irvan-Simo Motorsports, which has fielded entries in NASCAR’s Truck, Grand National and Winston Cup series.

``By the time firefighters arrived on the scene, they estimate is was 40 to 50 percent involved, so there was not a whole lot they could do,″ Rowan County fire marshall Randall Faggart said.

The house sits on nearly 100 acres, and water was brought in by truck from the nearest hydrant, about two miles away.

The roof burned off and its remnants fell into the house. The garage, containing vintage cars, was destroyed.

Irvan retired last September after 13 years as a NASCAR Winston Cup driver after a second head injury received in a wreck.

He crashed during a practice session last August at Michigan Speedway and was hospitalized several days.

The accident happened five years to the day after Irvan was almost killed on the same track. Fourteen months later, Irvan returned to racing.

Update hourly