A fire that started after the steeple was struck by lightning apparently damaged a medieval church in Spencer.
For 280 years, Spencer’s First Congregational Church served as a house of worship on Main Street. After a Friday afternoon thunderstorm, it rapidly caught fire.
Investigators think the 1743-built church’s steeple was where the fire first originated before spreading to the remainder of the building.
Before the steeple collapsed amid the flames, firefighters were able to retreat in time.
Another fire completely destroyed the church in 1862. A year later, it was renovated and reopened.