Pittsboro, NC -- The clock tower of the historic Chatham County Courthouse collapsed overnight after crews battled a blaze on Thursday afternoon.
WRAL-TV says the clock tower fell around 1:30 Friday morning. Smoke and fire could be seen coming out of the third floor and in the clock tower for hours after the fire started.
Crews continue to work to control hot spots Friday morning.
At this point, it is not known what caused the fire. Pittsboro city spokeswoman Debra Henzy says that the courthouse had been undergoing significant renovations for the past few months. The courthouse was built in 1881.
Fire crews arrived on the scene around 4:45 pm after reports came in of a fire in the upper floors. Henzey says that everyone in the building made it out safely.
Pittsboro Mayor Randolph Voller says it appears that the building sustained significant damage from the fire.
The building has been the site of an ongoing dispute about a videotape purportedly showing former presidential candidate John Edwards in a sexual encounter.
Superior Court Judge Abraham Penn Jones told The Associated Press on Thursday that the materials turned over in the case are in a vault away from the courthouse.
CONTINUING COVERAGE ON WRAL.COM
WRAL, Raleigh / Associated Press