House fires may have been sparked by lightning

Orange County Fire and Rescue officials say crews responded to two fires Tuesday afternoon possibly sparked by lightning. 

At one scene, firefighters rescued a dog from the home. It happened at around 3:45 p.m. on Contoura Drive, near Lockhart. Officials say the attic fire broke out when there was lightning reported in the area. Neighbors say the storm hit them hard. 

“A lot of lightning, some hail, a lot of rain and then we did hear a really loud boom at one point,” said Erin Bechtel, who lives down the street.

“Sitting on the couch and all of the sudden there was a huge lightning strike. Dog jumped off the couch and freaked out and 15 to 20 minutes later, I hear some commotion outside,” explained Eric Self, who lives a few doors down from where the fire happened. “There was cops, ambulance, right down the street – the whole street is covered in smoke.” 

Smoke was visibly coming from the roof while the News Station was on scene. Officials say the homeowner wasn’t inside when it happened, so after the dog was pulled out of the home, neighbors took care of it until she got back home.  

Officials say the home has some smoke damage inside. Crews were keeping a close eye on the place for hours on Tuesday to make sure the fire didn’t flare back up. 

Orange County firefighters say they were also called to a fire at a trailer on Piedmont Wekiwa Road in Apopka Tuesday afternoon. Officials say it appears to have been caused by a lightning strike. Everyone was able to get out.