Church destroyed in fire
TOWNSVILLE — The Vance County Fire Department is investigating a fire that burned down Woods Worth Baptist Church in Townsville.
Townsville Volunteer Fire Department Chief Daren Small said the call came in around 5:10 p.m. Tuesday. No one was injured, but the church building was reduced to rubble.
The front portion of the building along with the main entrance steps and wheelchair accessible ramp were the only parts that remained standing.
Behind the brick wall are the charred remnants — wooden doors and chairs twisted by the fire largely indistinguishable amidst the piles of ashes.
The church's walls were nearly all destroyed, but sections of ashy brick survived the flames.
Small said the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms — as well as the State Bureau of Investigation — are involved, which is standard procedure whenever a church burns.
Pastor Glendora Hargrove told WRAL-Ch. 5 the fire appeared to have started in the kitchen area of the fellowship hall, and though there was no one inside, she doesn't suspect arson.
"I'm telling my church family to keep the faith, stand strong," she said. "We need to come together now more than ever before."
Small said he was grateful that roughly 15 volunteer fire departments in Vance County and surrounding areas responded to the call at 444 Woodsworth Road.
"I want to thank all the the volunteer fire departments because they were a really big help to us," he said.