CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A landslide started a fire at Life Store Bank in Ashe County Tuesday afternoon.
The Life Store Bank in Warrensville was a central part of town.
"It's kind of like a sentimental place to a lot of people if you ask me,” said Lauren Severt, a lifelong resident. “It's just kind of a part of our community."
The Ashe County area received about 4.5 inches of rain in the couple of days that Florence swept over the area.
Severt, along with other residents, speculate that this was a cause of the landslide.
"I guess from all the rain we had got from Florence is what made a major impact,” said Severt.
Fire officials report that a landslide behind the bank crashed down into telephone polls and sparked a fire in the second level of the bank.
After that, the blaze consumed the building.
All of the employees and patrons made it out of the bank safely.
"I couldn't imagine them being inside the building when this first started happening," said Severt.
Lauren Severt happened to drive by the bank when it was still blazing.
“You could just feel the heat from the fire,” said Severt. “It was so, so hot.”
The bank issued a statement saying they appreciate everyone’s concern, prayers and calls.