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Church struck by lightning

Lightning damaged the bell tower of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church during an afternoon thunderstorm Friday Afternoon.

The tower, which has been with the church since it’s completion in 1875, lost one of its paramounts and some brickwork from the top of the tower.

“I came in to order breakfast stuff,” said Richard Burk, a member of St. Paul’s. “When I pulled up I saw the flower on the ground.”

After the discovery, the Selma Fire Department was called to the scene to look at the damage.

“There was visible smoke in the ceiling above the alter,” said Battalion Chief Alton Green.

The department brought in a fan to pull out the smoke from the church and used a thermal imager to look for signs of smoke and fire inside of the walls of the church.

Powell said that the lightning may have traveled through the bell tower and affected some of the wiring inside of the church.

The bells, which run electronically, have stopped working and phone lines were down at the church.

Rev. David Powell said he and other members of the church would stay in the church over night as a precaution.

Powell said that Sunday’s 8 and 10 a.m. services will continue as planned.