Lightning may have caused Orange Co. house fire



ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Lightning may be to blame for a house fire in East Orange County.

The fire started around 6:15 Wednesday night at a home on River Ridge Drive just off Curry Ford.

The homeowner, Francisco Valentine, said he and his wife narrowly escaped the fire.

“You see this on TV all the time, but when it happens to you, you feel very empty inside,” Valentine said.

Valentine recorded video on his cellphone that shows the heavy smoke billowing from his roof.

Neighbors said they knew the culprit of the fire almost immediately because they heard it upon impact.

“It was definitely lightning. We heard it and we heard, ‘crack.’ We knew it hit something,” Mark James said.

Orange County firefighters knocked down the flames quickly.

Valentine said the attic and second floor sustained heavy damage.

Valentine and his family are staying with relatives.

Wednesday's severe weather also caused damage in Lake County.

A massive tree crashed through the roof of a woman’s home in Clermont.

No one was injured.