St. Scholastica Monastery In Fort Smith Struck By Lightning During Severe Storm

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- A Fort Smith monastery was evacuated early Thursday morning (May 12) after it was struck by lightning.

Fire crews were called to St. Scholastica Monastery off Albert Pike around 3 a.m. after smoke was reported in the building.

According to the fire chief, crews searched every floor and found smoke in a corner of the hallway on the sixth floor. Firefighters used equipment to locate the heat source. Crews still had everyone inside evacuate in case a fire were to break out and engulf the building.

Firefighters said old, tall buildings like St. Scholastica usually have several lightning rods attached to the roof.

"What happened was there was a guy wire or something on the roof; a light gauge wire and it made contact with that," said Carey St. Cyr with the Fort Smith Fire Department. "It ran into the building and hit the electrical line inside a wall socket," St. Cyr said.

Firefighters said there were no injuries at the monastery due to the lightning strike.