A prominent church in Mount Holly went up in flames Thursday afternoon.
Photos from the fire at First Baptist Church of Mount Holly, at 300 South Main St., show massive flames rising from the historic building.
Mount Holly resident Kristy Hargett said she went over to see the fire around 5 p.m. after her brother told her about it. She when she left about an hour later, the fire was still burning.
While watching the fire, she snapped a photo of firefighters working, a rainbow reflecting off their truck.
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“The picture brought me tears,” she said. “This is such a devastation, but this was a ray of hope.”
She isn’t a member of the church, but she said she has visited a few times and remembers her sister’s wedding there.
“Everyone was in shock,” she said, adding she knows how important the church is to the community. “I saw a lot of folks covering their mouths.”
“It’s a small knit community, and I think everybody pulls together in times like this,” she said. “It’s just a sad day in Mount Holly.”
The church was first organized in 1890, according to its website, and the present sanctuary was built in 1924. The Gaston Gazette reported the building to have a real estate value of about $1.8 million.
There is no word on how the fire may have started or if any injuries were reported.