SALISBURY, N.C. (WBTV) - Fire caused heavy damage to part of the First Ministry Center on N. Fulton Street in Salisbury on Thursday. The building is part of First Baptist Church and is often referred to as the “old YMCA."
Firefighters responded to the call at the FMC just before 9:00 am. Witnesses described seeing plumes of smoke coming from the roof in the area closest to N. Fulton Street.
“I saw the trucks flying up and got a text from someone saying that the FMC was on fire,” said Associate Pastor Brian Farmer. “So I just ran over and I’ve been outside since then.”
No one was inside the building at the time. One witness noted hearing a clap of thunder shortly before the fire was discovered.
“We wanted to let everyone know that we had a fire in the front part of the FMC this morning,” the church posted on social media. “The fire seems to have started in attic, but no official determination has been made yet. No one was in the building, and our awesome Fire Department was able to contain and extinguish the fire quickly. We are grateful God had someone in place who saw the smoke and reported the fire immediately.”
The building is home to several ministries of the church, including the Good Shepherd’s Clinic, the SOAR program, Sunday School and Youth Ministries. Officials and church administrators are now beginning to assess the damage.
“We’ve got fantastic ministries that goes on,” Farmer said. “This building is a tool for ministry. God does a ton of great things through it. We’ve been blessed with good space here and it’s used quite a bit. This is going to be an inconvenience and we’ll have to rebuild it but the ministry is not going to stop. It’s my hope that this building, what’s not been damaged by the fire, will be back up and running soon."
The cause of the fire is under investigation.