Firefighters battled a blaze likely caused by high winds that left a historic south Jersey church badly damaged Sunday morning.
Flames broke out around 5:20 a.m. at Mt Pleasant United Methodist Church at N Pearl and Main streets in Millville, New Jersey.
Investigators told NJ.com that strong winds spurred by the storm knocked down a tree across the street that fell on power lines. The arcing lines then apparently sparked the blaze.
Officials said wind gusts of up to 60 mph were recorded as the storms roared through the region.
The fire quickly spread to two alarms as smoke rose from the building before firefighters knocked down the flames.
The church's sanctuary was destroyed by the fire and the steeple tumbled onto its side. But firefighters were able to save the church's social hall, which was attached to the sanctuary.
No injuries were reported.
Pastor John told worshipers from the congregation, which dates back to the late-1800s, that they would be joining Trinity church for Sunday morning services and communion at 11 a.m.