Cairo, IL Lightning Strikes Convent, Mar 1879

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM AT CAIRO.

Cairo, Ill., March 26. -- At 4 o'clock this morning, during the prevalence of a thunder-storm, the convent of the Sisters of Loretto, better known as the Loretto Academy, in the northern part of this city, was struck by lightning, set on fire, and entirely consumed, despite the efforts made to save it.
It was a large four-story frame structure, and occupied by the Sisters and pupils of the school, who were asleep at the time of the stroke. In a very little time, however, every sleeping one was gotten out, and no person was hurt. Much of the furniture was saved, although in a damaged condition. The chapel, near the main building, was saved. There was but little rain, or the fire might have been extinguished.
The loss is estimated at about $10,000; insured for $7,500. The school, which was in successful operation, will, of course, be suspended for a time.

Decatur Daily Republican Illinois 1879-03-27