Area apartments struck by lightning, caught on fire

Area apartments struck by lightning, caught on fire

Lightning is to blame for a two-alarm fire Monday at the Royale Orleans North Condominiums at Bellaire Drive and Hulen Street, fire officials said. Lt. Kent Worley of the Fort Worth Fire Department said the fire started around 11:30 a.m. Monday and was extinguished a few minutes after noon, causing $230,000 in damage.

Lightning struck the attic of unit 201 and the fire was contained to that area, Worley said.

Officials said there was no one inside the apartment at the time of the fire. However, two dogs in the unit below were rescued and treated for smoke inhalation at a nearby veterinary center, fire officials said.

Paul Northcott, a resident of the condominiums, said he heard what sounded like a shotgun before his cable went out.

“I smelled smoke and heard the alarm go off,” Northcott said. “I grabbed my animals and ran out the door, only to be choked by the smoke outside.”

Smoke and water damaged condos around the unit, Worley said.

Many of the residents gathered around had not been in their condos at the time of the fire but were called by friends or family to alert them of the event.