• Dozens displaced after lightning sparks fire at Orange County apartment building


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Dozens of residents were displaced after lightning sparked a fire at an Orange County apartment building late Tuesday afternoon.

    Fire rescue said smoke and flames were coming from the roof of the building when they arrived at the River Reach apartments around 4:45 p.m. Nearly 50 firefighters were called to respond to the blaze.

    "This building had about 26 apartments in it. We wanted to make sure with the high possibility of life endangerment, all the resources are on the way," said John Mulhall, with Orange County Fire Rescue.

    "When I came out of my building I saw a lot of smoke in the back of the neighborhood. I saw everybody running out, screaming," resident Terrance Ford said.

    According to officials, a lightning strike sparked the fire in the attic of the three-story building.

    "I heard a big boom," resident Bill Johnson told Channel 9.

    Johnson said he only had enough time to grab his wallet, keys and dogs before the fire worsened.

    "Maintenance is knocking on my door yelling, 'Get out, get out, the place is on fire,'" Johnson said.

    Officials said 24 units were affected by the fire, and 71 people are being assisted by the Red Cross. No one was injured in the blaze.

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