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Lightning strike likely cause of Palm Harbor fire that displaced family

There were no injuries, officials say, but the occupants had to find somewhere else to stay.
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Check for the latest breaking news and updates. [ Photo illustration by ASHLEY DYE and LUIS SANTANA | Times ]
Published Sep. 13

PALM HARBOR — A lightning strike was the likely cause of a house fire Sunday afternoon, Palm Harbor Fire and Rescue said.

The strike happened around 4:30 p.m. while a mother and her two children were inside the home at 3157 Phlox Drive, said Fire Rescue spokeswoman Elizabeth Graham. No one was injured. Firefighters extinguished the blaze, limiting the most severe damage to the roof and attic area.

An official cause of the fire was still under investigation but lightning appears likely, in part because it happened as afternoon thunderstorms passed through the area, Graham said.

The Red Cross helped find housing for the family Sunday night.

Someone in the home reported feeling an electrical surge through video game headphones at the time the fire broke out, Fire Rescue said.