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Foscoe Christian Church in ruins after overnight fire. Photo by Johnny Hayes



Originally published: 2014-01-07 13:22:12
Last modified: 2014-01-07 13:27:50

Fire destroys 90-year-old church

by Allison Haver

Foscoe Christian Church was destroyed in a late-night blaze Monday, causing firefighters to spend hours in sub-zero temperatures and high winds.


After being notified by a passerby around 11:23 p.m., Foscoe Fire Department responded to the church at 8800 N.C. 105 S.


The Foscoe team -- joined by firefighting crews from Boone and Linville and the Watauga County Rescue Squad -- battled the flames until around 3 a.m. Tuesday.


According to Foscoe Fire Chief Matt Aldridge, winds were between 35 and 40 mph, and the temperature dropped down to -4 degrees at 3 a.m., when the fire started dying down.


"It was hard and rough fighting a fire in that kind of weather," said Aldridge, who was one of the first to respond. "(The fire) had a pretty big head start before we got the page."


Firemen were called back to the scene for a flareup around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.


"With the wind blowing that hard, it was hard to contain all of it," said Aldridge.


No injuries were reported, and the cause of the fire is still under investigation but is not considered suspicious, according to Watauga County Fire Marshal Steve Sudderth.


Foscoe Christian Church member and choir director Nena Alsaker first learned of the church's fire Tuesday morning.


"I know how it is for many folks; it was the fabric of their lives, but at the same time no one was hurt and no one is homeless," Alsaker said. "Buildings can be rebuilt, and that's what we will do."


Foscoe Christian Church was established in 1924.


Temperatures in the High Country are expected to rise by the end of the week, according the National Weather Service. However, Sudderth said, "I want to stress the importance of neighbors checking on neighbors to make sure everyone is okay."