Fire destroys home near Windermere

No reports of injuries at this time

By Jon Jankowski - Digital journalist, Erik Sandoval - Reporter

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A fire destroyed a home near Windermere Thursday afternoon, sending smoke into the sky that could be seen for miles.

Fifteen fire crews from Orange County Fire Rescue and Winter Garden Fire Department responded to the fire in the 12000 block of Butler Bay Court at around 4:30 p.m.  

Firefighters said they arrived to find a 5,000-square-foot home engulfed in flames.

"The home is, at this point, a total loss," said Carrie Proudfit, spokesperson for Orange County Fire Rescue.

"We heard a big boom of lightning," said Leigh Ann Dyal, who lives down the street.

Dyal and other neighbors said strong storms with lightning and hail moved through the Windermere Club subdivision right before the fire broke out.

"When we walked out, the house was smoking, and then the roof caved in, and it engulfed in flames," she said.   

A dog inside the home was rescued from the fire, according to investigators.

The family who used to call the house home left just this morning for vacation.

Fire crews said there is only one fire hydrant to serve this community and firefighters had to string water hoses about two-thirds of a mile to fight the fire.

Proudfit said it's nearly impossible to prevent a home from being struck by lightning, but if a home is hit, it's best to evacuate immediately and call 911.

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