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SHERIFF: Suspicious that church and camper fires that close to each other

SHERIFF: Suspicious that church and camper fires that close to each other
Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 7:38 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 23, 2022 at 5:03 PM EDT
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MARTIN COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - Sheriff Tim Manning said it is suspicious that a camper would catch fire and then some two hours later a church fellowship hall about three miles away would also burn to the ground.

The fire at Siloam United Methodist Church on U.S. 64 destroyed its fellowship hall and damaged the sanctuary.

Jamesville Fire Chief Michael Pierce said when they got there about 50% of the building was on fire. Crews put out the fire from the inside and kept it from spreading into the sanctuary.

Firefighters put out the fire from the inside limiting damage to the sanctuary
Firefighters put out the fire from the inside limiting damage to the sanctuary (Fire Chief, Michael Pierce)

Pierce said the fellowship hall is a total loss and the sanctuary has smoke and water damage. The historic church has been in existence for 146 years.

Sheriff Manning said that around 10:45 p.m. firefighters were called to Hardison Road where a camper was destroyed by fire, as well.

He said storms did go through Martin County last night, but he doesn’t think that was the cause. “The storms had already passed through,” said the sheriff. “There was rain in the area but we’re just checking everything out and getting to the bottom of it.”

The SBI and the State Fire Marshal’s Office are both assisting Martin County in investigating the two fires.

At this time, officials don’t know what caused the fires.

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