Monday, April 15

Emergency Crews Respond to Structure Collapse at Franklinville Church

FRANKLINVILLE N.C. – Emergency crews and officials are on the scene in Franklinville investigating what caused a portion of the Franklinville United Methodist Church to collapse.

Just before 9 p.m. emergency crews from Franklinville Eastside, and Westside Fire Departments along with Randolph County EMS, Ash-Rand Rescue, and Randolph County Emergency Managment were called to the Franklinville United Methodist Church located at 227 W Main St, in Franklinville for a report of a commercial fire.

Arriving units did not find a fire but instead reported a possible gas explosion and structure collapse. It remains unclear at this time if there was an explosion or if a portion of the wall collapsed for some other reason, possibly striking a gas line.

Piedmont natural gas has arrived on scene and is working to shut off the gas in the area and officals have closed S Main St between Andrew Hunter Rd and Academy St.

Randolph County Emergency Management confirmed that no one was in or near the church at the time of the collapse and there have been no reported injuries.

A cellphone photo snapped moments after the collapse shows dust still in the air from the falling wall. (Credit: Oliver Harley)

A witness who lives nearby reported hearing what sounded like two trucks crashing and when they went outside saw that one of the walls of the church had collapsed before calling 911.

“We’re just thrilled that no one was here, and no one was hurt, as upsetting as it is it’s just a building and it can be fixed.” said Reverand Michele Hill. “We’re so grateful for everyone, the law enforcement and the fire department that have been out here taking care of things.”

A local who attends the church told a reporter on scene “the real miracle was no one was hurt.”

Emergency crews expect to remain on scene through the night as they continue to investigate the cause and work to secure the building from further collapse.

This is a developing story; more information will be added as it is made available.