WINDERMERE, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLA - Fire officials are investigating a fire that destroyed a home in Windemere, working to determine whether it was caused by Mother Nature. Neighbors say the boom was so loud, they have no doubts.
Residents used their phones to record the dramatic scene of a fire engulfing a home, believed to be the result of a lightning strike.
"I was sitting in my living room, and I heard the loudest lightning boom maybe ever," said neighbor Dave Skebba.
After that boom, Skebba stepped outside to see the home up in flames. His first thought was, "Oh my God, is anybody in the home?"
Thankfully, no one was inside the house. The father had just left, and the son was down the street. The rest of the family is on vacation.
"It's just really sad. It's devastating. We have a really tight-knit community here, so we're going to get together and make sure that they have everything they need," said HOA president Leigh Ann Dyal.
Black smoke could be seen for miles. Fire officials are calling the home a total loss after they worked for hours to put out flames and flare-ups. Neighbors say they're grateful no one was hurt.
"It's just really a shame, very devastating."
The fire happened deep into the community with only one fire hydrant outside the development to supply the water. Fire officials say they train for that and that the distance of the hydrant did not delay their response.