Officials tell KARK 4 News that the cause of a Bryant church building fire Saturday night has been ruled as a lightning strike.
They say a preliminary damage estimate totals about $1-million.
Photo courtesy: Lauren Brantley via Facebook
Original story (September 2):
Sunday's parishoners of Family Church in Bryant were able to see the full extent of the loss after their youth building went up in flames.
Around 9:30 Saturday night the call came in that the church was engulfed.
Word of the fire quickly spread in the community.
"He said you guys have to come quick the church is on fire," said Spencer Lloyd attended church at the building since he was in the second grade and raced to the scene.
"As soon as I got here I realized the building was gone," Lloyd said.
He wore a shirt showing support for the church he said was a home to so many of the people who made up it's congregation.
"We spent every moment here," said Shelby Hicks.
People like Hicks said the loss has struck her very deeply.
"It's actually like someone lost in the family we compare it to that," she said.
"We have large fires like this occasionally but it's not typical with a structure of this size with this much loss," said Batallion Chief with Bryant Fire Mike McFarland.
Bryant fire crews sifted through the rubble investigating the official cause of the fire.
"There were storms in the area," McFarland said, "Heavy severe storms."
Initial indications are that this is the latest casualty of the extreme weather blowing through central Arkansas.
The church is already planning on rebuilding and the message behind Sunday's service largely about new beginnings and looking forward to the future.
Click here to see video of the fire.