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Halifax firefighters battle N.C. church blaze Wednesday

Three Halifax County volunteer fire departments worked with seven North Carolina fire departments in neighboring Person County to battle a fire that destroyed High View Baptist Church on Wednesday night.

According to Roxboro Fire Chief Kenneth Torain, Virgilina, Midway and Cluster Springs Volunteer Fire Departments responded from Virginia along with Roxboro Fire Department, Triple Springs, Cepho, Woodsdale, Allensville, Hurdle Mills and Moriah volunteer fire departments from North Carolina working together to bring the 7:30 p.m. blaze under control.

Dozens of firemen remained on the scene into the wee hours of Thursday morning, and fire investigators from the City of Roxboro and State Bureau of Investigation were back on the scene Thursday morning trying to determine the cause of the blaze, Torain said.

Approximately 35 people were attending Bible study in the church, located in the 100 block of High View Church Road in Roxboro, when the fire broke out.

Pastor Avery Dalton told a N.C. news station the blaze started in a gable above a second floor classroom.

However, no one was in the youth classroom since the young people were on a retreat.

No one was injured in the fire because the congregation immediately went outside when they smelled smoke and saw the lights flicker, the Roxboro Fire Chief said.

Torain and Virgilina Fire Chief Ralph Murray both agreed the church building was a total loss.

Virgilina Volunteer Fire Department responded with three trucks and eight firefighters, while Midway Volunteer Fire Department assisted with two trucks and five firefighters, and Cluster Springs responded with two trucks and five firefighters.