Lightning sparks fire at Fort Myers home

FORT MYERS, Fla.- Officials say lightning sparked a fire at a house Wednesday night.

Two people escaped the home in the 1600 block of Jefferson Avenue, off Princeton Street.

“There was a gray cloud on the Jefferson side of the house and said a lightning bolt came and struck the side of the house, it was 25 feet high,” said homeowner Lawrence Bill.

Bill says people working on his home checked it out and at first everything seemed okay, but it wasn’t.

“About three hours later, mom was sleeping on the other end of the house, I was awaken by a lady who informed me our house was on fire.”

Neighbors who were out walking their dog saw the smoke and called 911.

Bill says he punched out a window to save his elderly mother.

“I didn’t now how long she was laying down there. You could see the smoke billowing from the top floor down around the bed.”

Bill and his mother were taken to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries but both are doing okay.

An entire wall on the side of the house was destroyed and code enforcement says the home is unsafe to live in.

Right now, Bill says they’re just thankful to be alive.

“I want to say thank you very much. I want to say that’s proof for a neighborhood that watches out for each other.”