Pastor in critical condition, wife injured in devastating house fire

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A frantic 911 call was placed by a woman who saw a house go up in flames in Mount Holly Monday night. A pastor and his wife were inside the home.

Wake Forest Baptist Hospital told FOX 46 that the pastor, Clayton Burch, is in critical condition. His wife is out of the hospital. 

According to fire officials, the entire church family is just devastated by the fire.

“It tore my heart out when I heard about it I really didn't know what to say," one churchgoer said. 

“It's a sickening feeling-- anything tragic especially at Christmas season," said Posey Williams, a friend of Pastor Burch.

“I came today because the Lord spoke to my heart and said go and pray," another told FOX 46.

Burch is a pastor at Goshen Free Will Baptist Church. He and his wife Barbara were awakened in the middle of the night to smoke alarms, and were able to get out of the house, according to fire officials.

Investigators say the couple was taken to the hospital, but Pastor Burch had to be flown to another hospital for burns. 

“That would be a terrifying ordeal to awaken with the sounds and smoke,” Williams said. 

He describes Pastor Burch as a kind-hearted, happy person.

“He's a jolly fellow. He dresses to the fullest every time you see him he's got that suit and tie and every hair in place,” said Williams. 

Members of the community are praying for strength for the couple, overwhelmed by the devastation.

“Just seeing it there's very little left it looks like they've lost everything,” Williams said. 

The fire marshal believes the fire started in the garage, but they don't know what caused it. However, he does not believe it is suspicious.