Hialeah Apartment Building Struck by Lightning During Severe Weather

Hialeah Fire Rescue crews responded to a fire at an apartment complex Wednesday afternoon, which was sparked by a lightning strike.

It happened just before 4 p.m. at 5400 West 21st Court during severe weather in South Florida.

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Crews said occupants were evacuated as they located and extinguished the fire. They said it was caused by a lightning strike to the roof.

Capt. Cesar Espinoa said crews were conducting safety checks of the building and putting out hotspots.

Four units have significant damage and a lot of the building sustained smoke damage. Approximately 20 people have been displaced.

A gofundme account has been set up to help the victims.  If you'd like to help, click here.

"The building did sustain a lot of damage where the lightning hit. We do have one elderly female who was treated for some shortness of breath, but she did not need any transport. She's doing very well at this time. No injuries were reported on the scene," Capt. Espinoa said. "The firefighters did a really good job of stopping this fire before it got out of control."

It took crews about 15-20 minutes to extinguish the fire.

Esteban Torrens lives in the building next door and said he saw the smoke and immediately pulled the fire alarm to alert residents. His next thought was to run and help people in the burning apartments.

"I started banging on everybody's door and there was a fellow that got stuck in the elevator. So the first thing I did was go back upstairs, get the keys we use for the elevators and I couldn't really do anything about it. I tried and then they pulled up and they were able to take them out," Torrens explained.

The severe weather across South Florida brought rain, slippery roads and localized flooding, creating quite the headache for some on their commute.

The bad weather was not only an inconvenience for drivers, but also for travelers at Miami and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International airports.

The Federal Aviation Administration issued a ground stop for several hours at MIA because of the storms, but it has since been lifted.

To track weather in your area, click here.

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