Church struck by lightning bolt, catches on fire

The sanctuary of Immanuel Lutheran Church after steeple catches on fire.

Along with the rain came the storm, and one pastor spent the day cleaning up his church after lightning struck in the middle of the night.

Shortly after midnight Thursday, Pastor Mark Brase and his wife got a call that the roof of Immanuel Lutheran Church at 1601 Main Street was on fire.

Congregation leaders say a lightning bolt struck through the peak of the roof that covers the sanctuary and started a fire. It took fire crews three hours to put out the blaze in the dangerous weather conditions.

â??Actually I think we were fairly blessed,â?? Pastor Brase said. "We still have a church and nothing else was really affected but the roof, water damage.â??

No one was in the building when the fire broke out. Preschool classes at the church were cancelled Thursday, but congregation leaders still plan to hold services this Sunday at 9 a.m. in the churchâ??s multi-purpose room.