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Investigators are considering a fire to be suspicious that sent a historic campground in Catawba County, N.C., up in flames Sunday (Sept. 29) night, leaving the community heartbroken, according to WBTV.

The blaze broke out at the historic Balls Creek Campground around 9:40 p.m. At least 16 fire departments responded to the call.

The fire destroyed 30% of the historic campground, fire officials estimate, and destroyed 40 tents. Nine other tents sustained damage.

The “tents” are a collection of wooden structures that are attached to each other. Families own them and some have had them for generations.

Catawba Emergency Services says the fire is especially heartbreaking because this is a historic family campground that generations have visited.

Because of the historic and religious significance of Balls Creek Campground, the investigation into the cause of the fire is being handled by a joint task force of local, state and federal authorities including the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) and the United States Department of Justice — Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).

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