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State Historic Site Catches Fire

Firefighters put out a fire at former Gov. Charles Aycock's birthplace in Wayne County early Thursday morning.

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FREMONT — Firefighters put out a fire at former Gov. Charles Aycock’s birthplace in Wayne County early Thursday, authorities said.

The fire started about 4 a.m.in the main house at the state historic site, authorities said. The cause of the fire hasn't been determined.

Fire alarms alerted firefighters to the blaze so it be put out quickly, said Keith Harison, director of state historic sites for the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.

"After the Thomas Wolfe (birthplace) fire in Asheville some years ago, the division implemented a program to install as many fire alarm systems as possible in our historic buildings," Hardison said.

Fire-retardant shingles also helped contain the fire, he said.

"The firemen themselves said that the roof performed wonderfully in this situation," he said. "The damage to the roof is extremely minimal."

There was no word on the extent of the damage to the house. Authorities said the site would remain closed to the public until teams can assess the damage to the structure and the collections inside.

Aycock served as governor of North Carolina from 1901 to 1905. His birthplace historic site features a mid-19th century farmstead, including a house, kitchen and outbuildings.

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