100+ firefighters extinguish large fire at former school in Wendell

Wake County News

WENDELL, N.C. (WNCN) — Firefighters from several agencies battled a big blaze in Wendell Friday evening.

The blaze broke out around 5:20 p.m. at the Riley Hill Baptist Family Life Center, which had been abandoned for some time and was once used as a school. 

“I would guess we’re probably over a hundred firefighters on this scene. The back building is completely burned out, the roof is collapsed,” said Brian Staples, the Wendell fire chief.

People living in the area say they’ve never seen anything like the large fire in the neighborhood.

“I had no idea where all this smoke was coming from. Then I heard all the sirens going off out here. I’ve never seen this many fire trucks out here before,” said a neighbor.

The rural location presented a challenge for firefighters. 

“We’re in rural Wake County. There are no fire hydrants here so, initially, we had four tankers coming, but we quickly asked for all of them — basically every tanker in Wake County,” said Staples. 

Crews were able to stop the fire but the building was destroyed. Firewalls and assistance from various departments helped prevent the fire from spreading.

“We put out the call for help and everybody answered,” said Staples.

No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is unknown.

Wake County Fire Services will begin their investigation into the cause of the fire Saturday. 

More headlines from CBS17.com:

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Sponsored Content
Visit Buy Local

Trending Stories