• Fire rips through Orange County apartment complex


    ORLANDO, Fla. - Flames ripped through an apartment complex Monday, and helpless residents could only watch as the fire destroyed their homes and belongings.

    Firefighters are investigating if lightning sparked the fire.

    Witnesses said they saw lightning strike close to the complex on Holden Avenue, near Rio Grande Avenue, around 6:30 p.m.

    Residents got out their cellphones and recorded video of the fire burning through the roof of the Lake Tyler Condominiums, destroying the top two units.

    Rio Grande Avenue is still closed Monday night as firefighters keep an eye out for hot spots.

    Officials said some of the crews will be at the scene all night long to make sure the fire doesn't start back up.

    For Carmen Rivera and her family, it's hard to even look at the apartment where they lived.

    "I lost everything -- my life, all my remembrance, my little dog," Rivera said.

    Rivera said she had come home when the place went up in flames. The flames also hit her neighbor's apartment and damaged several others.

    "I saw the smoke, then the fire. And it was pretty bad. So bad," Rivera said.

    Video shot on an iPad captured the scene, the moment the flames shot through the apartment roof.

    Cellphone video shows just how high the flames got.

    Micah Joseph lives below where the fire started.

    She said her 3-month-old kitten ran and hid upstairs when it all began and she was forced to leave without her.

    "I just woke up to banging on the door, and they're like, 'It's a fire, it's a fire.' Then I heard explosions. I was looking for the cat, glass was breaking, things were blowing up ," Joseph said.

    Joseph said she never thought she'd never see her cat again.

    That is, until firefighters reunited the two while WFTV was there Monday night.

    "Oh my God, I was just overjoyed. I couldn't believe they found her. I thought she was gone," Joseph said.

    Fortunately, not a single person was hurt.

    The fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.

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