Authorities investigating ‘suspicious’ fire at former slave plantation in Durham County

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Authorities are investigating a fire at Stagville Historic Site in Durham County, the sheriff’s announced Monday morning.

According the Durham County Sheriff’s Office, Durham County Fire Rescue crews responded to a working fire at 5228 Old Oxford Highway around 6:45 a.m.

The fire was quickly brought under control and investigators with the sheriff’s office as well as the Durham County Fire Marshals were called to the former slave plantation site.

According to the Stagville website, the property is a state historic site “that includes the remnants of the one of the largest plantations in North Carolina. The Bennehan-Cameron family owned approximately 30,000 acres of land, and claimed ownership over about 900 people who were enslaved” at the plantation.

The Stagville Historic Site protects some of the land from the plantation, including the original slave quarters, a barn, and a Bennehan family house.

“Stagville is dedicated to teaching about the lives and work of enslaved people on the plantation,” the website says.

The Durham County Fire Marshal’s Office told CBS 17 the fire has been deemed “suspicious in nature.”

ATF agents and a K-9 accelerant detection dog are also investigating the fire.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation and more information will be released as it becomes available.

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