- Associated Press - Monday, April 20, 2020

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - A Charleston church is largely undamaged after an apparent lightning strike caused a fire in its steeple.

WCIV-TV reports firefighters responded Sunday afternoon to smoke seen coming from the 100-foot (30-meter) steeple of Second Presbyterian Church.

Witnesses in the area saw lightning strike near the building about 20 minutes prior to the fire, fire officials said. After accessing the damage, investigators said it was consistent with a lightning strike.

Firefighters said they ran up the steeple using stairs and access ladders inside to put out the flames, while others used aerial ladders on fire trucks to control the fire on the outside.

Senior Pastor Rev. Cress Darwin said the church interior is undamaged. No injuries were reported.

The Second Presbyterian Church is one of the oldest churches in Charleston, founded in 1809. The church building, initially constructed in 1811 and later enlarged, is on the National Register of Historic Places.

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