A bolt of lightning struck a church steeple yesterday, sparking a ferocious three-alarm blaze that ravaged a historic Lynn church.
The roof of the First Baptist Church on North Common Street caught fire when lightning struck during a storm at about 4 p.m., shortly after a youth bible class had finished, witnesses said.
Parishioners sobbed in the street as they watched firefighters climb ladders to attack the roof blaze from above. At one stage, nine fire trucks piled into the street to tackle the flames.
Witnesses told the Herald at the scene that the church houses four different congregations including Spanish, Haitian and Brazilian parishioners.
They said the church's bell tower and a section of the roof suffered the most damage, but that no one was believed to be hurt. A fire official confirmed that the blaze was thought to have been caused by a lightning strike.
According to the church's Web site, the building has housed the Baptist congregation since it was completed in 1867.
Lynn fire officials were not immediately available for comment.
Republished with permission of The Boston Herald.