Palm Harbor family displaced after home catches fire during storm

Pinellas County

PALM HARBOR, Fla. (WFLA) – Palm Harbor Fire Department crews helped put out a house fire Sunday night likely caused by a lightning strike.

PHFD responded to a home on Phlox Drive around 4 p.m. after receiving a call about an attic fire.

Lilana Hernandez-Sipe was inside of the room damaged by the fire.

“I saw like lightning and then I saw the flame, so I ran out of there and told them,” Hernandez-Sipe said. “Then we walked out of the room and the house and then we saw smoke coming from the roof.”

Courtesy: Palm Harbor Fire Department

First responders told 8 On Your Side five crews rushed to the house.

“Our guys got here and quickly extinguished the fire and now we’re in the investigation phase,” said Chief Jason Haynes.

Haynes said they can’t confirm the exact cause of the fire at this time but all signs point to lightning.

“So far there are consistencies with what the occupants say and the damage to the house,” he said.

The chief told 8 On Your Side they see incidents like this often in the month of September.

“It is this time of year. Summer time we run into a lot of lightning strike fires, so it is pretty common especially in the lightning capital of the world,” he said.

Thankfully, no injuries were reported. The family will now stay with relatives until their home is repaired.

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