Deadline Miami

Residents say lightning set Miami duplex on fire

CBS4

Friday’s stormy weather wreaked havoc throughout South Florida – from toppling trees to lightning strikes that possibly caused an apartment fire.

The wind toppled a tree onto an SUV parked in Pembroke Pines. Rain snarled traffic across South Florida.

The combination of the two elements caused power outages like the one at 87 Avenue and Flagler Street that gridlocked busy intersections.

In Northwest Miami, fire spread quickly through a two-story duplex.

People who live there told Miami Herald news partner CBS4 that lightning hit the building and started it.

These residents preferred staying anonymous, but were first to smell smoke on the now-badly damaged second floor.

“Once we heard the thunder and it start lightning that’s when we start smelling it. After we found out we couldn’t put it out we just ran,” said one of the residents.

“We heard a loud boom with the lightning and then they came down and told us to get out. That the place was on fire. So we ran out,” said another resident.

Even though lightning seems to be culprit, the City of Miami Fire Department is still investigating the potential cause.

“There was a lot of lightning and some bad weather that was in this area during that time,” said Capt. Ignatius Carroll. “Our fire investigators are looking into those accusations as well as it could possibly be something electrical.”

Fire investigators spent several hours on the second floor where the bulk of the damage was, trying to find out what caused the fire.

Meanwhile, the Red Cross was at the duplex trying to help those who lost their homes.

“We lost everything,” said one resident.

“I’m just hoping the Red Cross can do something for us,” said another.

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