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'Lightning strike' sparked massive blaze in three-story Florida apartment

A lightning strike is believed to have sparked a massive fire in a three-story residential building in Florida that displaced over 40 residents as giant flames and plumes of smoke rose from the building.

The fire broke out at the Park Place Apartments complex in Oveido on the Park in Seminole County around 10.30pm.

The building houses 50 units and ultimately displaced 41 residents due to the fiery blaze, according to ClickOrlando.

A suspected lightning strike sparked a massive blaze in a three-story Oveido, Florida, apartment complex late Friday evening, displacing 41 residents

Crews responded to the three-story Park Place Apartments in Oviedo just after 10:30 p.m. Oviedo Fire Rescue Chief Nichlaus Dorey estimated half the building was destroyed

While no injuries were reported, 41 residents in the apartment were displaced. The Red Cross is assisting those residents

Locals on the street pictured watching the inferno engulf the apartment, sending plumes of smoke rising into the sky

The aftermath: The fire burned through the roof and upper apartments of the complex. Officials said about half the building was destroyed and the blaze triggered major flooding

The inferno was noticed by patrons at a nearby restaurant and they called 911.

By the time firefighters arrived giant orange flames were rising through the roof of the buildings.

There were no initial reports of injuries but Oviedo Fire Rescue Chief Nichlaus Dorey estimates 50 percent of the building was destroyed.

The Red Cross said they will assist residents affected by the fire.

The state fire marshal will investigate the cause of the fire that officials say they believe it was caused by lightning.

Fire officials say the fire started somewhere in the top corner of the building.

The state fire marshal will investigate the cause of the fire that officials say they believe was caused by lightning

A view of Seminole County firemen assessing the fire above

The charred, damaged side and roof of the complex pictured above in the blaze

Oveido fire officials responded to the blaze and put out the fire but only after it destroyed half the building late Friday evening

They say that the building suffered extensive damage to the roof and water damage to the units below.

Horrifying images shared to social media show massive furious flames shooting up towards the sky from the roof of the building, shrouding the area in an orange glow and thick smoke.

Apartment resident Sondra Fitzgerald said she lost everything in the blaze.

She came home from work to discover that her apartment was on fire and unit engulfed in flames.

Nowhere to go: Apartment resident Sondra Fitzgerald said she lost everything in the blaze and is now terrified to move into another big apartment building

She shared horrific images of the fire on Facebook saying: 'I need prayers. My apartment is on fire'

Firemen were able to rescue her cats that hid in her apartment amid the fire

'There are no words to describe. Came home from work and saw what I thought was fog until I got out of my car and smelled it. I could not figure out where it was coming from so I walked into the courtyard and saw the flames shooting out of my apartment complexes roof,' she shared on Facebook.  

'The apt complex has offered another unit for me to move into but I am afraid to ever live in an apartment building again. It was in shear terror I watched it burned,' she said.

Fitzgerald said her heart broke as she was given just seven minutes to grab some of her belongings for fear of the building collapsing.  Firemen were able to rescue her cats who hid in her apartment amid the fire. 

A fundraiser has been set up to help the displaced residents that left many units reduced to soot. 

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