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Damage minimal in lightning strike at SL Presbyterian Church

Becky Vargo • Jul 21, 2015 at 10:56 AM

Office Manager Pat Wilkinson said she was next to the windows on the same side of the building, getting ready to leave for the day, when she heard what she thought was an explosion, looked out the window and saw some smoke.

Kinderkirk Director Pat Breitels was in her office in the middle of the building when she heard the same thing.

“I saw a flash and heard a boom,” Breitels said. “Then the lights flickered and my computer froze up.”

Breitels said someone went outside the building and discovered a broken window. The metal cap that covered the cable connection to the church was found on the other side of the building.

“It flew from the east side of the building, over the Kinderkirk wing and landed on the grass,” Breitels said.

Lt. Brian Sipe of the Spring Lake Township Fire Department said “lightning is such a strong force that it could have popped the box up and it just flew over the building.”

Sipe said emergency officials checked around the building and saw no further evidence of damage, but he cautioned employees to keep a lookout for possible problems.

Power remained on in the building.

Sipe said he was not aware of any other problems from the lightning strike in the area.

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