CHATHAM — A residential structure registered as a National Historical Landmark was consumed by flames Tuesday night and reduced to smoldering rubble.

Located on Old Red Eye Road, the Phillip Craft House was owned by Henry Hurt, a Pittsylvania County historian and author.

The house was built between 1801 and 1819.

Hurt has owned the property since 1983, and was using it as a writing office, he said Wednesday.

He and his family began renovating it in 1992 and had it placed on the historical landmark registry in 2001.

“It seems to be a total loss,” Hurt said. “It’s as sad as losing an old friend.”

“It simply could not be a better place to have an office,” he added. “I’ve written there for 25 years, and it’s been a treasure of a place to work.”

“Part of it burned, part of it is still standing,” Pittsylvania County Fire Marshal Steve Bowman said.

The fire was called in at 9:40 p.m. Tuesday, but Bowman said he wasn’t sure what time it started.

A wooden addition to the building, added to the house in 1904, was leveled, but brick walls of the historic portion still remained.

The cause of the fire is unknown as an investigation continues.