STATESVILLE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - A large fire at a historic church in Statesville is still burning after firefighters have been working to put it out for more than 12 hours.
The first call about the fire at Old Western Avenue Baptist Church came in shortly before midnight Sunday evening and struck multiple alarms to get enough people to the scene., and firefighters say they will remain on scene all day putting out hot spots.
They also say it could take days to find a cause.
According to WSIC, the Western Avenue property is owned by Visions Outreach Ministries which was in the process of renovating the building.
Pastor James Hunter said the church previously had a problem with one or more squatters entering the church, but believes that had been addressed. Neither the fire department nor the ministry could say if that played a role in the fire
Only smoke was seen for some time at the church, but flames shot up once again at the around 2:00 p.m. on Monday, and another large flare up was seen around 6:00 p.m.
Firefighters say the church is a total loss, and it appears at this time they are simply waiting for the fire to burn itself out.
This is a developing story. Check back with FOX 46 for more updates.