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On The Job – High Point Fire Department

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The steeple at Rankin Memorial United Methodist Church at 314 Barker Ave. was damaged Tuesday after a thunderstorm rolled through the area. Roughly an inch of rain fell in the Triad between 9 and 10 p.m., with wind gusts up to 40 mph, said Brandon Locklear, forecaster with the National Weather Service in Raleigh. Scattered power outages were reported to High Point City Services, and 10 Duke Power customers in High Point were without power. In Greensboro, 350 Duke Power customers reported outages. “We will be restoring power into the night,” said Bill Kingry, a spokesman with Duke Power. City services also had a report that wind gusts ripped an awning off a business near Elm Street and Kivett Drive. Etoshia Bennett, who lives next door to Rankin Memorial church, said she heard the lightning strike around 9:10 p.m. while sitting in her living room. Bennett called the fire department when she smelled smoke. Battalion Chief J.E. King of the High Point Fire Department ruled out an electrical fire, citing lightning as the probable cause. Minister Boyd Holliday and church member Fletcher Cooper said the steeple appeared to be the only part of the church that was damaged. He estimated damages at roughly $3,500. The steeple was replaced four years ago. No one was injured in the fire, officials said.

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