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Lightning strike caused house fire | News

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Lightning strike caused house fire

LECANTO, Florida -- A lightning strike is blamed for a fire today that destroyed a $500,000 house and left two pets dead.

At 5:44 p.m., the Citrus County Sheriff's Office's Division of Fire Rescue responded to a structure fire at 1341 N. Crause Point in Lecanto. Engine 71 from Connell Heights arrived at 5:55 p.m. and found the 3,100-square-foot home heavily involved, according to Keith Long, battalion chief.

The fire crew entered the structure to rescue pets, and was able to save a cat, but the worsening conditions forced the firefighters to exit. Two other pets died.

The fire was under control by 7:54 p.m.

The building and contents were a total loss, Long said. The fire was ruled accidental due to lightning strike.

The Red Cross responded to assist the family with temporary housing.

Fire units from Connell Heights, Beverly Hills, Homosassa, and Kensington responded to the scene.

The building and the contents were a total loss and estimated at apprximately $525,000.