Lightning suspected in Mount Vernon church fire

By  | 

MOUNT VERNON, Ala. (AP) - A fire apparently sparked by lightning
destroyed the Pine Grove Missionary Baptist Church sanctuary and
day-care center in Mount Vernon.

The pastor, the Reverend Jack Shaw Junior, says the blaze was
reported about nine o'clock Tuesday night.

Shaw said a "tremendous storm" crossed the area and a church
neighbor reported hearing lightning "pop" before the fire.

A police spokeswoman said the state fire marshal had not yet
ruled on the cause of the fire, but it appeared to be lightning.

Shaw said about 300 people attend the church, which will meet in the church's Life Center next to the burned sanctuary until it can be rebuilt. He said the building was insured.