PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Fire crews around Tampa Bay have responded to at least four fires which appear to have been caused by lightning this week, including two house fires overnight.
Tuesday night, Clearwater Fire and Rescue crews responded to a home at 313 Magnolia Drive. Clearwater Fire says it appears the fire was triggered by a lightning strike. The fire was contained mainly to the roof and attic areas of the home. The family was able to make it out safely. No injuries were reported.
A second fire is suspected of being caused by lightning overnight at 7840 Pine Drive in Temple Terrace. Fire officials say the area of travel from the lighting strike entering the home is visible. One elderly female made it out safely and was displaced. The damage is internal to the attic and the rear bedroom. The woman stated the fire alarms woke her and she began to gather her pets to exit the home.
Earlier this week, a massive brush fire was likely sparked by a lightning strike. The 35-acre brush fire was burning alongside Hillsborough Avenue in the Oldsmar-area for about 24 hours from Sunday to Monday. Video of the fire showed towering, big flames. Investigators with the Florida Forestry Service believe that lightning may have struck a tree in the densely wooded area.
Also, a warehouse caught fire, believed to be caused from a lightning strike. The Thonotosassa business called Lightning RV caught fire Monday night. Officials say the business was struck by lightning not once, but three times.
Storm Team 8 meteorologist Leigh Spann says this intense lightning is typical for this time of year.