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Fire officials: Lightning caused Carrollwood condo fire | News

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Fire officials: Lightning caused Carrollwood condo fire

Carrollwood, Florida -- Hillsborough Fire Rescue crews say a lightning strike caused a two-alarm structure fire at the Grande Oasis Condos on Key Royale Lane in the Carrollwood Monday afternoon.

Fire officials say firefighters responded to the condominium complex around 3:50 p.m. to heavy flames coming from the roof of the 3-story building.

Residents were immediately evacuated with the help of the sheriff's office.

"My best friend's mom called me saying that my apartment is on fire," said resident Carly Clayton, whose two dogs were still inside her condo.

Witnesses say firefighters went into her second story home and rescued the dogs.

"They were the heroes I mean they saved the dogs' lives," said Paul McManus, a dog walker who is employed by Clayton.

The fire was extinguished and under control within one hour. There were no reports of injuries to civilians or fire rescue personnel.

A complex employee told the fire investigator they saw lightning hit the building and then saw flames coming from the roof. After a complete investigation and interviews were conducted, the investigator determined the fire was indeed caused by a lightning strike.

As we get into the summer, firefighters will face more and more battles like this. Two-thirds of all fires caused by lightning will happen between June and August.

To see the power of lightning and the damage it can do, watch this incredible video put together of up-close lightning strikes caught on camera. (Warning: the audio may contain some profanity.)

Fire officials say the estimated damages are more than $800,000. A total of 18 out of 24 units were damaged and 50 people are displaced.

The Red Cross arrived at the scene to help residents with food, shelter and clothing.

Crews continue to extinguish hot spots and expect the scene to be clear in a few hours.



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