Dyer County church burns during storm; lightning strike suspected - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Blair Simmons

Dyer County church burns during storm; lightning strike suspected

Authorities believe lightning sparked a fire that consumed a church near Dyersburg.

The Dyer County Sheriff's Department says the Pierce Lane Church of Christ was struck by lightning just before 4 a.m. Friday during a thunderstorm.

Neighbors also reported a transformer exploded about the same time.

The fire spread quickly through the brick and wood building, burning the interior and roof before the structure collapsed.

Friday, church members said they were just glad there was no one inside as they came to see what was left of the building they worshipped in. 

"I was listening to my scanner and I heard it happen about eight minutes 'till four. It just broke my heart," church member George Pettie said.

The church is a total loss.

Pettie attended church there for more than ten years. He says there are fewer than 20 members, but what congregation they do have is thicker than blood. He said even fire can't destroy that.
Members say they're not sure yet what insurance will cover. However, they believe the building burned for a reason and they definitely want to rebuild.

The minister says they will meet this Sunday. They are not sure where just yet.

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