A lightning strike sent the spire on the church tower crashing into the sanctuary, unleashing an avalanche of large rocks that crashed onto some scaffolding which then collapsed onto Richard Schwartz as he was walking by.
The powerful storms broke the heat, but left downed trees, power lines and other damage in its wake and knocking out power to thousands of customers.
Backup generators kicked in, but operators reduced power at one Indian Point unit to about 70 percent as a precaution.
Firefighters from a number of surrounding towns were dispatched to help fight the blaze.
Parts of the Tri-State area — including Little Neck and Douglaston were pounded from the sky with wind, lightning and ice.
Inside Penn Station, thousands were straining their necks watching the schedule monitors while listening for any service changes.
Connecticut Light & Power said some 62,000 customers remained without power early Friday.Thousands of homes were also without power in Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester counties.
Three businesses went up in flames in Putnam County after a lightning bolt triggered a fire.
If the Bruins, up 3-2 in the Eastern Conference Final against the Lightning, win tonight, Roberto Luongo will face Tim Thomas in the Stanley Cup Final. It will be the battle of the two most overrated goalies in the league.
On Monday night it was the hail that was the story in places like Kearny, N.J., where people were holding pieces of it. Parts of Manhattan saw the hail, and so did Park Slope as captured by home video.
A lightning strike can pack millions of volts of electricity. One powerful bolt is blamed for sparking a fire that destroyed a building in New Jersey. So what steps can you take to protect your home?