PAWNEE - A bolt of lightning from Wednesday night's storms undid in a few hours what it had taken the Catholic community of Pawnee more than 100 years to build.Pawneeans (?) might want to look into that non-working hydrants thing.
St. Mary's Catholic Church burned to the ground after the bell tower was struck about 8:45 p.m.
Fire Chief Walter Funsch said firefighters arrived to find the steeple and roof in flames. High winds quickly spread the fire throughout the wood-frame structure.
No one was inside at the time.
Nearby fire hydrants weren't working, Funsch said, so tanker trucks from the Chatham Fire Department had to be called in. Assistance also was provided by the Auburn, Divernon and Taylorville fire departments. About 65 firefighters battled the blaze, Funsch said.
By the way, for members of the local media who don't know where Pawnee is, see here.