SBI says no foul play suspected in Duplin County church fire

(Lauren Arnott, NewsChannel 12 photo)

ROSE HILL, Duplin County - The N.C. State Bureau of Investigation says there is no reason to suspect foul play in a fire that destroyed a church.

Authorities told media outlets that the fire broke out Monday morning in the sanctuary at the Rose Hill United Methodist Church, which was built in 1920. Firefighters from across Duplin County responded to the blaze.

Duplin County Emergency Management Director Matt Barwick said the roof collapsed as firefighters entered the church, forcing them back outside. Barwick said low temperatures turned any water that didn't hit the fire into ice.

Pastor Christopher Vogle Leak said no one was inside the church.

An SBI spokeswoman says while the fire is still under investigation, agents have found nothing at this point to suspect any foul play was involved.

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