House fire likely sparked by bolt of lightning, officials say

An upscale 5,000-square-foot home near Windermere is a total loss after it was engulfed by a massive blaze.

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Orange County firefighters were called to battle the massive fire after 4:33 p.m. Thursday on Butler Bay Court in Orange County.

Firefighters said the family that lives at the home was gone and no one was hurt.

Officials are still looking into the cause and said it appears the fire was started by lightning.

Neighbors said they heard a loud lightning strike and the flames started to spread quickly.

"I heard the loudest boom of a lightning strike I've ever heard," said neighbor Dave Skebba. "Within a minute, I heard firetrucks come by."

The homeowner, with his dog, was seen being escorted to the scene, where he saw the destruction for the first time.

"They're in shock, understandably, as anybody would be in this situation,” said Carrie Proudfit, with Orange County Fire Rescue. “But they are grateful to first responders here on the scene, and they're grateful that they're not hurt or worse."

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