GREENE COUNTY, Ohio --
A historic Greene County church caught fire Friday morning and investigators say lightning is to blame.
Flames and smoke were seen shooting from the bell tower of the church around 8 a.m. An iWitness7 reporter captured this image of the church steeple on fire.
The Union United Methodist Chursh is a historic landmark and the first church to be built in Greene County. It is located on Washington Road in Xenia Township.
Neighbor Laura Aldridge spotted the fire, "When I got up to leave for work, I noticed sparks at the top of the steeple."
Those sparks quicly transformed into fire. "The wind got it so there were a lot of flames. By the time firefighters got there the whole top of the church, the steeple, were engulfed," said Aldridge.
Fire officials said the fire was confined to the steeple and the bell tower, which is where they believe the lightning strike occurred.
Xenia Township firefighters quickly knoced down the blaze. No one was hurt.
Chief Daryl Meyes said when it comes to fires sparked by lightning, there isn't a whole lot that you can do. "It's unpredictable. You can't control it. It's a freak accident, just an act of nature," the chief said.
The extent of the damages are still being determined, but the chief said church can be easily repaired.
GREENE CO: Lightning Sparked Church Fire
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