Lightning strike starts fire at Wilson County church
Posted June 13, 2010 7:40 p.m. EDT
Updated June 14, 2010 4:44 a.m. EDT
Sims, N.C. — Firefighters said a lightning strike sparked a fire Sunday evening at Nobles Chapel Baptist Church at 7330 Old Raleigh Road in Sims.
The fire began just after 6 p.m. and quickly engulfed the 110-year-old church.
As members arrived for Sunday evening service, many tried to save items from the flames.
"It is sad, very sad,” church deacon Larry Boyette said.
The steeple collapsed just after firefighters had pulled out from trying to fight the fire from inside the structure.
The sanctuary was destroyed, but firefighters said they were able to save a neighboring fellowship hall.
"This happened for a reason. We don't why, but the church will come back stronger," a church member said.
The fire was extinguished by 11 p.m., and crews planned to stay overnight to put out hot spots.
There were no reports of injuries.