PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – After lightning sparked a fire at an Odessa apartment complex Tuesday, the Red Cross is providing emergency assistance to more than two dozen people from 13 households.
From his first floor apartment on Monday, Arthur Socia recorded video of a lightning strike outside his window.
“That was loud of course, too,” Socia said, “but the one that hit it was like a different loud.”
Socia said he working from home Tuesday afternoon when the lightning bolt struck the roof.
“When it hit, it was like a big boom, like a rattle,” he said.
While the fire and loss of power in the building forced Socia’s family and 12 other households to evacuate, he said eventually he should be allowed to move back in.
“There’s no water damage — doesn’t smell like smoke,” Socia said. “I guess we’re just waiting the OK from the county.”
On the third floor, Israel Lopez isn’t as lucky. Pasco firefighters had to cut a hole in his living room to put out the flames burning on the roof.
“You know up and downs, and the thing is try to figure out where we’re going to live,” Lopez said.
For now, both Lopez and Socia’s families are staying at local hotels.
“Red Cross helped out,” Socia said. “They gave us a voucher for a hotel.”
Socia returned to his apartment Wednesday afternoon to pick up his work computer.
He also reunited with four of his cats.
Socia told News Channel 8 he still can’t believe two lightning strikes hit so close to his home on back to back days.
“They say that you have a better chance of getting struck by lightning than winning the lottery,” he said. “I don’t know about houses, but maybe I should play the lotto.”