Lightning Strike Sparks N.C. Church Fire

DENVER, N.C. --

Lightning struck a Denver church Friday afternoon, sparking a fire.

The strike brought down much of ceiling in Webbs Chapel United Methodist Church, which dates back to the late 1800s.

“We didn't realize all the ceiling would be knocked down just from a lightning strike,” Denver Fire Chief Michael Carpenter said.

He thinks the strike hit the church steeple and traveled down into the building through the church’s electrical lines.

As firefighters worked to secure the steeple, volunteers scrambled to get all of the church's Bibles and hymnals out and helped to clean up the mess.

“(There’s a) great, great congregation here,” church member Jimmy Brewer said. “We got great support from the community. We'll be all right.”

“I'm thankful no one was hurt, and I'm thankful that we have volunteer firefighters that are the best around here,” Pastor John Love said. “They are the best.”

He said the church will still have a service on Sunday and plans to hold it in the family life center on the other side of the church.

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