BRIDGEWATER TOWNSHIP, SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A state police fire marshal has determined a lightning strike is the likely cause of a fire that destroyed a church that stood for some eight decades.
Now, the local faith community affected by the fire is working to determine what to do next.
“I mean it was right after the lightning that the thunder hit, so they knew that one must have been really close,” Jared Horn said.
That’s what Horn’s family told him they heard late Thursday night. They live right next door to the South Montrose Community Church on Route 29 which was destroyed. They along with the pastor and parishioners believe the steeple was struck by lightning.
“We do know that it was lightning that hit it, hit the cross that was on top of the steeple. And it was just completely engulfed and there was no putting it out really,” South Montrose Community Church president Bob Remington said.
“We jumped in the car and came over here quickly and of course it was very shocking to see with all the flames. We’re so grateful for all the fire companies who came out here so quickly,” Pastor Laura Kincaid said.
Horn was also concerned not only for the church, but for his home. He told Eyewitness News firefighters assured him his family would be safe. He also says the church does a lot more than just hold services.
“They do lots of community work. I’m not sure but I believe today was going to be their food drive. They do that, they have a free meal in the wintertime, at least once a month. Very sad, very sad,” Horn said.
The pastor told Eyewitness News that despite the destruction, services will go on this Sunday in the nearby parking lot.
“We know God is good in all things, and so we put our trust in Him and we know that even though, like I said, that this is shocking and terrible, but we know that the church isn’t the building. The church is the people and the people here are just so wonderful and continue to be a community of faith here
reaching out to the community and doing all that we usually do,” Kincaid said.