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Lightning strike sparks fire, burns hymnals at Swift Creek Baptist Church

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. – A lightning strike or power surge from a strike sparked a fire Thursday evening at Swift Creek Baptist Church, according to Chesterfield Fire spokesman Lt. Jason Elmore.

Lighting stuck the church’s roof, traveled through power cords and caught a bookcase with hymnals on fire.

The fire was reported about 5:15 p.m. as strong storms and heavy lightning moved through the area.

Chesterfield and Colonial Heights fire crews responded to the church along the 18500 block of Branders Bridge Road and found smoke billowing from a side door of the church.

One person at the church attempted to put out the blaze with a fire extinguisher.

It took crews about 15 minutes to get the fire under control.

Fire damage was contained to the choir room and smoke also damaged an adjacent room.

Officials said it is unclear if lightning struck the church directly or struck nearby resulting in a power surge through an electrical outlet in the choir room.

A book shelf containing hymnals and other music material ignited first spreading to the remainder of the room.

Fire damage was contained to one room, though other rooms did sustain smoke damage.

No one was injured.

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