Lightning blamed for sparking 2 Houston-area apartment fires

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Monday, July 12, 2021
Lightning blamed for sparking 2 Houston-area apartment fires
Residents at apartment complexes in Friendswood and northwest Houston were awoken by claps of thunder, flashes of lightning and the smell of smoke.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The lightning overnight didn't just wake most of us up, it also sparked two different apartment fires.

More than 1,000 lightning strikes were recorded across the Houston area during Tuesday night's storms.

Lightning struck above the second floor in the attic at an apartment complex on Blackhawk Boulevard near FM-528 in Friendswood.

Video from the scene shows immense damage to the roof where the lightning struck.

The fire started around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Multiple residents called 911 about the lightning strike.

The fire and smoke damaged four units, and another four units had water damage, Friendswood Volunteer Fire Department officials said.

Officials from the Forest Bend Fire Department, League City Volunteer Fire Department and the Pearland Fire Department also responded to the scene.

"They're advising the roof was struck by lightning, and they do see flames," officials said on an emergency call. "Officers on scene are advising the building has been evacuated."

Thankfully, firefighters say no one was hurt. Neighbors got to each other by knocking on doors and making sure everyone was safe.

Across town, in northwest Houston, lightning struck an apartment complex on Westview Drive near Caywood Lane around 11:30 p.m.

As soon as some renters started smelling smoke, they went door-to-door warning neighbors.

"The guy knocked and when we opened the door, that's when we started seeing smoke," resident Chase Reyna said. "And then we realized, 'It's getting worse. We need to get out.'"

No one was injured in the fire, according to Houston fire officials.

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