Fire officials investigating after massive flames gut North Carolina church

STATESVILLE, N.C. — Investigators are probing into the cause of a massive fire that destroyed a Statesville church late Sunday night.

Dozens of firefighters responded to the Old Western Avenue Baptist Church around 11:30 p.m. after the security company said someone had come into the building.

"I got a call from the security company that someone had come in one of the side doors, and by the time my wife and I got here we saw the building in flames," said Pastor James Hunter.

According to fire officials, no one was found inside the building, but the pastor said they've had a problem with squatters in the past and tried to better secure the building.

"It's a loss to the city. Sad to see this happen," said Statesville Fire Chief Spencer Lee.

Fire officials deemed the church a total loss, but the pastor said he is staying optimistic.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.