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MACCLESFIELD — Federal and state investigators combed through rubble Monday at the site where the Macclesfield Volunteer Fire Department’s fire station burned to the ground Sunday.
A blaze broke out at around 9:30 a.m. at 104 South Third St. Besides the station, the town’s ABC store also was destroyed, said longtime Mayor Mike Keel.
“We don’t know how it started,” Keel said, adding the State Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are conducting probes.
Three of the department’s vehicles were destroyed by flames and falling debris. Fire Chief Teddy Stamatis was able to save a tanker truck by driving it out of the station as it came down around him.
Firefighters from nine other area fire departments responded to the four-hour fire. The Pinetops, Conetoe, Fountain, Bakertown, Speed, West Edgecombe, South Edgecombe and Tarboro fire departments all assisted in trying to save the fire station.
The Tarboro-Edgecombe Chamber of Commerce said the fire department has been a staple in the small community of Macclesfield for many years.
Virtually all of the equipment and three out of four fire trucks were destroyed. While insurance will help cover equipment and trucks, officials said the department will need help in building a new fire station.