THE VILLAGES, Fla. -

Marion County fire officials said a home was completely destroyed after a lightning strike started a fire Saturday night.

Fire officials said at 9:39 p.m. Saturday, firefighters responded to a structure fire at 16918 SE Northridge Court in The Villages.

Officials said the fire was caused by a lightning strike.

The homeowners called 911 and safely got out of the home with their cat, said firefighters.

Flames were visible through the roof when firefighters arrived first at the scene. Firefighters went into the home to try and attack the fire, but as the fire escalated, officials said they had to back out of the home and fight it from the outside.

Firefighters said they were able to control the fire about an hour later.

The home is considered a total loss; firefighters were able to protect homes on both sides of the fire, which suffered only superficial damage, firefighters said.