(SALEM) - Salem firefighters were called to New Beginnings Baptist Church after lightening struck the church's steeple.
The congregation had just ended its evening service and an evening of basketball and everyone had left the church. About 20 minutes later a band of severe thunderstorms entered the area and lightening stuck the church's steeple and caused a fire.
The Salem Fire Department responded to church on Bata Road, east of Salem, just after 10 p.m. and had the blaze under control about 20 minutes later.
Pastor Scott Huffaker says the lightening hit the steeple, traveled down the ground wire and caught the steeple and the side of the building on fire.
Firefighters cut into the second story of the church and a portion of the roof to extinguish the blaze.
Huffaker is estimating damages at $20,000, but it could be as much at $100,000 because of water and smoke damage throughout the building.
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