Lightning bolt sparks Baldwin Park house fire

Thunder, lightning jolts entire block

By Sheli Muniz - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - A lightning bolt hit a house and the thunder clap jolted an entire block. Neighbors on Haws Lane in Baldwin Park rushed out of their homes to find their neighbor's home in flames.

The damage centered around the roof, which suggested to Orlando fire crews that lightning was the cause.

Chad Seiler was having dinner with his family when he heard a big boom.

"We thought that our house may have been hit. It was really loud. I was sitting by the window and there was a big flash, so we checked our home first," said Seiler.

Within minutes, he heard fire engines and came out of his home to see flames coming through the roof two doors down, about 100 feet away.

"It was such a loud boom and we were so scared. We thought it may have been ours.  We're very lucky it was not," said Seiler.

Fire crews got a number of calls, including from an off-duty officer.

"Many of the neighbors said they heard heavy lightning strikes, several surrounding homes, and said they felt the houses shake and the big boom," said Gerald Lane, of Orlando Fire Rescue.

The damaged home is in foreclosure and happens to be the only one on the block that is empty.

"Every other one would have been a tragedy," Seiler said.

Around Central Florida, there were reports of branches down in the roadway and pea-sized hail along with localized flooding.

Officials said there were no reports of damage or injuries across the path of the storm, even though there were tornado warnings issued in nearly every county.

In Oviedo,  tornado warning sirens blared and in Lake Mary and Apopka, marble-sized hail was spotted on the ground.

As of Monday morning, several hundred customers remained without power.

Watch Local 6 News for more on this story.

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