Tom Petty’s Brush Against an Arsonist
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers live in 2014 - Tom Petty / Youtube
Tom Petty was a talented musician, and the world lost a gem during his 2017 passing. Given the magnitude of his talents and influence on society at the time, many still feel the effects of the tragedy even today, five years later. Celebrities, friends, and family could tell you all the great things that Petty was – but perhaps, not all could agree to all of them.
Although Petty had many pleasant years in his Encino, California, home, 1987 was the year of his greatest misery there. While having breakfast together, Petty, his then-wife Jane Benyon, and their daughter noticed a smell of smoke. They soon learned that an arsonist had thrown a blazing item at Petty’s wooden stairwells, destroying their priceless house.
The family was able to flee in the nick of time, but not everyone made it out unhurt; their housekeeper received some minor wounds. It was stated at the time that the fire rapidly expanded in breadth due to the wooden roof of the house, which ultimately cost $1 million in losses. Petty and his family suffered significant losses as a result of the fire; however, his recording studio, which was located in the basement, miraculously escaped damage.
In the book Conversations with Tom Petty, the musician recalled the horrible moment, recalling that to this day, they were still “shaken” about it. “I wouldn’t even use the word ‘fire’ in a song or anything,” Petty revealed. “It really frightened me. They didn’t just try to kill me, they tried to wipe out my whole family. And it was a hell of a day. It was my wife’s birthday.”