Lightning caused fire at Jacksonville church, minister says

Firefighters quickly put out smoldering fire in San Jose Church of Christ attic


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Lightning appeared to cause a fire late Thursday afternoon at a church in Jacksonville's Lakewood neighborhood, the church's lead minister said.

According to the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, crews were called just before 4:30 p.m. to a fire at San Jose Church of Christ on San Jose Boulevard, just south of University Boulevard West. 

Firefighters said the smoldering fire was in the attic and was quickly controlled. 

Before firefighters responded, the lead minister said he was sitting in his office when he saw several strikes of lightning outside his window. He said he saw another big lightning bolt and that's when he said the lights started to flicker and he started smelling smoke. 

The lead minister told News4Jax that he later spoke with firefighters, who believed lightning stuck the light fixture at the top of the church, went down the electrical line and sparked the insulation.

There were about five people inside of the church at the time. Fortunately, the minister said, everyone was OK.

There's no word yet on the extent of the damage from the fire. 

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