ASHE COUNTY, N.C. - Officials said a large mudslide was responsible for a fire at a bank in Ashe County Tuesday.
Dozens of firefighters from several fire departments battled the blaze for hours.
(Courtesy: Lauren Severt)
Within minutes of the mudslide, much of the Life Store Bank in Warrensville was up in flames, according to officials.
Deputies told Channel 9's Dave Faherty Hurricane Florence dumped between six and eight inches of rain in the area, which could have been the cause of the mudslide.
"Can't believe it happened. Since we've had so much rain from Hurricane Florence it's no doubt something bad was bound to happen. I just hate that it happened to the bank," said resident Vickie Cooper.
Investigators said mud and rocks from the slide sent a propane tank into the building, where it slammed into the bank's vault.
Firefighters said a spark from a meter box most likely ignited the gas causing the massive fire.
"A lot of our people here in the community bank here. The people that work here are like family and they treat you like family. And so it's just a big loss," said customer David Pennell.
Sheriff deputies confirm two employees along with a customer managed to get out without any serious injuries.
"It's horrible. It's unbelievable that no one actually got hurt. It's just amazing. Here one day and gone the next," said customer Cathy Kelly.
Officials said the mudslide extends about 250 feet long up the mountain side and a geologist is checking to make sure the hillside has stabilized.
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