RED BANK, HAMILTON COUNTY (WRCB) -  Firefighters are on the scene of a fire at Red Bank United Methodist Church.

The church is located on the 3800 block of Dayton Boulevard.

Our crew at the scene says the flames were coming from the church's gymnasium. They also report firefighters are having a difficult time keeping smoke levels low.

Jonathan Cathell had a front row seat, watching the entire thing unfold across the street from his store front. 

He says,  "We had to actually close the door when they were, it was pretty intense, with the smoke the visibility was zero."

Cathell was watching from his instrument repair shop across Dayton Boulevard, but it was a clap of thunder that got his attention.

Cathell says,"The doors were open and we saw the lightning, actually felt static was pretty intense."

Mutual Aid Coordinator Eddie Phillips says, " We do have eyewitnesses that tell us it was a lightning strike."

Thurman Faulkner, a member of Red Bank United Methodist says the gym was built in 1988. He says in fact he was in the gym earlier in the day for an exercise class.  He says he is grateful no one was inside. 

He says, "Well, I saw em build it and was really involved it's sad to me."

The extent of the damage won't be known until firefighters fully extinguish the blaze.

Rev. Jeff Lambert says Red Bank UMC will have Sunday service at 11 AM at the Red Bank High School gym.

Stay with as details become available.