Fire Destroys Historic Accomack County Church - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Fire Destroys Historic Accomack County Church

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)
(Photo: WBOC Chopper 16) (Photo: WBOC Chopper 16)

PARKSLEY, Va.- Virginia State Police say the fire that destroyed a 135-year-old church in Accomack County is not suspected to be arson.  The fire destroyed the Adams United Methodist Church in Parksley.

The original call for firefighters was for smoke coming from the church.  Once on scene, things quickly escalated.

"When the firefighters came and just started to put the water down then the roof started to cave in.  Just a massive explosion of flames coming out," said Carl Perez, the church's pastor.

Firefighters were forced to fight the fire from outside of the church because it was too dangerous to go inside the structure.  It took numerous local fire departments a little over an hour to get the situation under control.  Initial reports from fire officials is that the flames started in the attic of the church.

James Magere is a Parksley resident and a member of the church.  He said when he went outside on Wednesday morning, he couldn't believe his eyes.

"I was overwhelmed to tell you the truth.  I ain't never seen anything like this before.  This church is gone now.  It has to be torn down and everything," said Magere.

While the state police say the fire is not suspected to be an arson, they are still continuing the investigation into the cause of the fire.  And while police search for answers, members of the church need to figure out what's next.  The pastor says many local churches have opened their doors, but Adam's sister church, Metropolitan, will be the go to location for anyone looking to attend service.

Firefighters say while the church is a loss, the social hall attached to the structure should be able to be saved.

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