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Steeple grounded for repairs

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The Pinewood skyline changed dramatically last week when the steeple on Our Lady of the Way Church was removed.

The steeple had been struck by lightning Aug. 14, and could have caused the complete destruction of the church had the fire departments of Pinewood, Stratton, and Rainy River not been summoned to the scene as promptly as they were.

About midday on Aug. 14, lightning struck near the church. Fr. James Panikulam said he knew the strike had been nearby but did not suspect the church had been hit.

It smoldered for a couple of hours before it became apparent a fire was burning away the inside of the steeple.

The three fire departments climbed up to the steeple and extinguished the fire within an hour of being called out.

Insured, the 101-year-old church will be completely restored once the steeple is repaired. The inside recently was renovated, as was the exterior of the church.

Last Monday, the steeple was removed using a crane. Contractor John Sinninghe has been working diligently to remove the interior wood lining the steeple and has been replacing it.

It was expected the steeple would be put back up atop the church by yesterday or today.

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