Ohio Church Belltower Destroyed by Fire

SWANTON, Ohio --

Thunderstorms may have caused a huge fire in a church in Fulton County.

The blaze broke out Wednesday night at The Holy Place church on Church Street at Lincoln in Swanton, NewsChannel5 partner WTOL-TV reported.

Officials believe the fire started when the steeple was hit by lightning.

The flames were so intense that several fire departments were called to get them under control. The fire burned through the steeple. The inside of the church suffered a lot of water damage.

Kathy Blake captured photos of the church as the fire started. She lives nearby.

"I was sitting in my living room shortly after a lightning strike in the area really close and I smelled the smoke," said Blake. "So I stepped outside my door and I saw smoke down this way a little bit around my mother's house. And then I stepped out a little bit further and I could see that the steeple of the church was fully engulfed in flames."

Fire crews worked for over two hours making sure they put the fire out. There was no immediate word on a dollar amount for the damage.

The Holy Place hosts several congregations for worship in Swanton.