Church with Harriet Tubman ties catches fire during storm in CNY

Local News

AUBURN, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) Sunday’s storms damaged many areas of Central New York, including a part of history.

Cayuga County dispatchers tell NewsChannel 9 a lightening strike could be the cause of a fire to the Thompson Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church on Park Street in Auburn.

That church is part of the Harriet Tubman National Park and is where Tubman’s funeral was held in 1913.

“I was standing on the porch and all of a sudden I heard this big boom. It rattled the whole house, and I knew it hit somewhere but I didn’t know where it hit,” said Fred Ferris, a neighbor who was in the area when the fire started. Ferris said the strike to the steeple was impossible to miss.

The Auburn Fire Department responded to the fire around 3:00 pm. The fire was contained to the steeple of the church. The exact cause is still being investigated.

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