Ohio 'King of Kings' Statue Destroyed by Lightning

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A 60-foot statue of Jesus Christ was struck by lightning and burned to the ground near Cincinnati, Ohio, Monday night.

"The King of Kings" statue was a local landmark built in 2004 near the evangelical Solid Rock Church in Monroe.

The figure was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived at the church. Firefighters were able to keep the flames from spreading to a nearby church building.

The damages from the fire were estimated at $700,000 -- $300,000 for the statue and $400,000 for the attic area of the amphitheater, which was also damaged in the blaze.

The sculpture, about 62 feet tall and 40 feet wide at the base and weighing 16,000 pounds, showed Jesus from the torso up and was nicknamed Touchdown Jesus, because of the way the arms were raised, similar to a referee signaling a touchdown. It was made of styrofoam, wood and fiberglass. All that remained of the figure was a blackened steel skeleton.

"Some people were scooping up pieces of the statue's foam from the nearby pond to take home with them," said church co-pastor Darlene Bishop. "This meant a lot to a lot of people."

"It will be back, but this time we are going to try for something fireproof," she added.

There were no reported injuries.

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