Lightning strike sets fire to Largo apartment

Largo, Florida -- An apartment resident had a close call with a lightning strike Friday when his building caught fire after taking a direct hit from a bolt.

"I was leaning up against the wall (inside) getting ready to go re-sign my lease actually. I heard a bang, felt a shock. Everything shut off," said Anthony Mahaa, who was inside his unit when the lightning hit about 11:30 a.m. at Canterbury Apartments, 1408 Canterbury Lane.

"I grabbed my dogs and kept it moving," Mahaa adds.

Looking at the damage outside, Mahaa counts himself lucky. "Everybody is safe: I am, the dogs are."

Mahaa was able to go back inside to get some belongings after the electricity was turned off and the building was deemed safe to enter. The apartment has been determined to be unlivable.

WOW: WATCH: Man struck by lightning on sunny day

"Wet damp smoke smell, [you can still hear the beeping] that went off because of the smoke," said Mahaa.

And despite the saying lightning doesn't strike twice, the rumbling storm was enough to keep it on Mahaa's radar. "It could happen again," he said.

Amazing lightning photos:


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