Lightning Strike Damages Landmark Polish Hill Church

 Monday, July 22, 2013

 CBS Pittsburgh

A lightning strike damaged the dome of a Polish Hill landmark during Tuesday’s storms. Smoke curling from the peak of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church drew firefighters to a structure that dates back to 1897. “Lightning struck in the middle of the church,” says Fr. Joe Swierczynski. “Right in the center of the dome.”
He says fire hoses were extended through the balcony.“And the hose was leaking, so there was tons of water up in that balcony,” he said. “And they emptied the store room, all the boxes were damaged; and the middle here was a flood with the water coming down from the dome. This was all flooded here in the center.” A restoration construction crew examined the damage. The only path to the dome is a narrow stairway, straight up.