Augusta County Church Destroyed By Fire

October 1, 2011

A fire destroys a church in Augusta County. It happened around 11:45 p.m. Friday at Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church on Rock Mountain Lane in Crimora.

No one was inside the church at the time of the fire. No injuries have been reported. The church was fully engulfed when fire fighters arrived on the scene.

Betty Via has been a member of the church since she was a little girl. "I have a lot of memories here and the people are all devastated. They're very dear to me." Via says. "Everybody is saying 'Why, why?' We know the church was built in 1800 but we updated everything, electrical wires, everything."

Like Betty, many church members still don't know why the fire started. Some believe it could have been caused by a power outage Friday night. State Police is investigating the cause of the fire.

Church member Mary Thompson says, "It's just tragic. I just think it's a shame that something like this would happen. It's just devastating."

But church members say, it is only a building and they will rebuild. They plan to hold their services Sunday morning at 11am at the Grottoes Fire Department.


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