92-year-old escapes Port Orange house fire

Woman lost all her family possessions in house fire

By Nicky Zizaza - Reporter

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - A 92-year-old Port Orange woman lost all her family possessions in a house fire neighbors said was triggered by a bolt of lightning.

"We heard the lightning strike at 6:30, and I walked around the house twice because I could smell smoke," neighbor Rick Morris said.

According to an incident report issued by the Port Orange Police Department, at witness said she heard a loud bang from a lightning strike earlier in the evening and thought it may have hit her house. She said a few hours later her power shut off.

Morris said around 1 a.m Theresa Rivard was banging on his window and asking for help.

"She is saying, 'My house is on fire! My house is on fire,'" Morris said.

The fast-moving fire decimated the house and destroyed all her belongings.

"She woke me up, when you are in a dead sleep you are sort of like, 'what do I do'. So I called 911 and I went behind her house there and her back porch was fully engulfed," Morris said.

Multiple neighbors at the scene looked on as emergency responders worked to contain the fire.

Morris said, "It was, I mean the flames were up twice as high as the house. They were up at least 30 to 50 feet in the air."

Morris described how composed Rivard was despite the setback.

"Oh yeah, believe me she was frazzled but she took it better than I would have, I would have freaked out."

Investigators said they do not suspect foul play or arson however, the cause of the fire is undetermined at this time. We're told Rivard is staying with family members.
 

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