Investigators still asking for public’s help in ‘suspicious’ fire at Balls Creek Campground

Still no leads in 'suspicious' fire at historic campground

NEWTON, N.C. (WBTV) - Sheriff’s investigators in Catawba County continue to interview people and ask the public for help in solving the mystery around a massive fire Sunday night at the Balls Creek Campground.

The site along Buffalo Shoals Road has been a gathering spot for prayers and retreats since the 1850s.

Hundreds of cabins, known as tents, are connected to each other on the property. Sunday evening, dozens were destroyed by a fire.

Investigators on Tuesday declared the fire “suspicious” in nature but stopped short of saying it was arson. They have, however, canvassed the neighborhood looking for information and to see if anyone had surveillance video that might indicate who was in the area.

Few details in the investigation have been released except that samples were gathered and sent to the state lab from the fire scene after arson dogs went through the rubble on Monday. No results are back yet.

People who own the cabins on the site say they can’t understand why anyone would set fire to the place.

“I pray that it is not true,” said Debbie Hurley.

Penny Connor, whose family has been coming to the site for generations, hopes if someone was involved that they are caught and prosecuted. She also hopes for something else, she said.

“I would like to have a word of prayer with them, I really would,” Connor said.

Investigators are asking anyone who may know something to call the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office.

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