Fire destroys World War II-era church in NC

WEST JEFFERSON, N.C. (AP) - Ashe County authorities are investigating a fire that destroyed a church built during World War II.

The Charlotte Observer reports that North Beaver Baptist Church on N.C. 163 near West Jefferson was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived about 1:30 a.m. Sunday. The church dates back to 1943.

The Ashe County Sheriff's Office said the fire is suspicious in nature and there might have been a break-in before the blaze broke out. A sheriff's deputy noticed the flames while on patrol.

Damage to the church was estimated at $750,000.

A funeral home in West Jefferson allowed church members to use their facility for worship services Sunday.

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