07/29/04 — Lightning strikes church; fire's spread prevented

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Lightning strikes church; fire's spread prevented

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on July 29, 2004 1:58 PM

A lightning strike on Wednesday destroyed a steeple atop Adamsville Church of God at 3913 McLain St. But a quick response from Goldsboro firefighters prevented a fire caused by the strike from spreading, an official said.

"Everyone did an outstanding job in keeping the fire from getting into the attic," Assistant Fire Chief Gary Whaley said today.

The fire damaged electronic equipment, including a sound system. Damage was estimated at $10,000 to the building and $10,000 to contents, Whaley said.

The building was valued at $500,000, and contents were valued at $200,000.

Fourteen firefighters answered the alarm at 5:42 p.m. with three engines, a ladder truck and a command car. They needed about an hour and a half to put out the fire, investigate the cause and finish salvage work.

Whaley said the fire destroyed the steeple to the roof line, but firefighters arrived in time to keep it from getting into the attic.

Once the fire was controlled, Whaley said, firefighters cleared the burned roofing materials and completed an extensive salvage operation on the inside of the church to prevent further damage.

The pastor, the Rev. J. Wesley Jarman, could not be reached today for comment. But he had told firefighters that Sunday services would be held as scheduled.

At the same time as the church fire, Whaley said, another fire alarm was reported at Wayne Memorial Hospital. Another engine company and Belfast volunteers responded, but it turned out to be caused by an alarm malfunction.