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Marian Central Catholic High School, Woodstock Opera House struck by lightning

A Woodstock high school and downtown landmark both were struck by lightning within an half hour of each other Monday afternoon, Woodstock Fire Rescue District officials said.

Marian Central Catholic High School, 1001 McHenry Ave., announced that it will be closed on Tuesday after the facility was struck by lightning, according to a tweet posted Monday evening on the school’s account.

Lt. Zach Beatty with the Woodstock Fire Rescue District said the incident at Marian Central Catholic High School had occurred about 4:45 p.m.

Beatty said lightning had struck the chimney of the building, causing it to fall over and crush several gas lines that fed the rooftop furnaces.

The school was evacuated before the firefighters’ arrival, Beatty said. All events scheduled for Monday evening, including a freshman football game and an Athletic Boosters meeting also were canceled, according to a separate tweet from the high school.

The chimney collapse caused significant damage to the roof and one classroom of the high school, Beatty said. Crews remained on scene for about three hours.

Meanwhile, Lt. Chad Williams said about 4:30 p.m. that crews were dispatched the Woodstock Opera House, 121 W. Van Buren St., for what was initially reported as a fire alarm.

Firefighters then discovered the lightning had struck the bell tower and dislodged several bricks, Williams said.

However, no power outages were reported and the opera house is not expected to close, Williams said.

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