DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. -- Members of the Siloam United Methodist Church gathered outside the fallen sanctuary Wednesday afternoon, watching as crews sifted through the remains of a massive fire.
“It was very heartbreaking, you don’t quite understand these things but you know there’s a reason for it,” Brenda Blakely said.
Blakely and other members of the church watched as it was consumed by flames Tuesday night. She said as a lifelong member of the congregation, it was hard to watch the destruction.
Investigators said they were still determining the cause of the fire, but believe that it started in the sanctuary.
Cathy Jackson said she was driving home with her husband when they spotted smoke coming from the direction of the church. She said she called 911 when they arrived, and watched as the fire continued to grow.
"We just had to sit here and we were very helpless, you want to do something but you can’t,” she said.
Jackson played piano at the church for a number of years, and said it was destroyed along with the church's music.
Firefighters were only able to salvage a cross from the sanctuary, and later pulled the church's bell from the debris.
“That’s certainly something that we want to keep for when we rebuild, be able to use that again hopefully,” Jackson said.
Pastor Scott Davis said Wednesday he was grateful no one was injured by the fire, and hopes the investigation sheds light on the cause of the blaze.
The congregation plans to hold their Sunday service at the Southern Theatre and Event Center in Denton at 11 a.m.