Florida Firefighter Fell While Fighting Storm Sparked Fire

A veteran firefighter, who was not identified, fell 12 to 14 feet from a second-floor loft while fighting the fire


Lightning struck the roof of a Pembroke Pines home on Monday as severe thunderstorms pummeled South Florida. The lightning strike started a fire in the home's attic, causing more than $300,000 in damage.

One firefighter was injured trying to extinguish the blaze.

City Fire Marshall David Raines said the two-story house in the 1900 block of Northwest 137th Way sustained major water and fire damage after the 3:30 p.m. strike. No one was home at the time, and the fire burned for about a half-hour before firefighters arrived on the scene, officials said.

A veteran firefighter, who was not identified, fell 12 to 14 feet from a second-floor loft while fighting the fire. He was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood and was listed in good condition, Raines said.

The series of storms across South Florida produced more than 3 inches of rain in some areas, flooding streets, knocking down tree branches and causing more air traffic delays at the major airports. Central and west Broward County were hardest hit, the National Weather Service in Miami said.

Expect more thunderstorms and a 50 percent chance of rain today and Wednesday, the result of an unstable atmosphere, the weather service said. The forecast calls for the rain chance to taper to 30 percent on Thursday and Friday.

In Lauderhill, downpours spouted a leak in the roof of a townhouse in the 1700 block of Northwest 57th Terrace causing a piece of drywall to hit a resident in the head, said fire Lt. Robert Aziere. The man was treated for head and neck pain and released from Florida Medical Center.

In south Miami-Dade County a gust of 65 mph was reported.

On Sunday, heavy rain forced two Lauderdale Lakes families from their homes, after a leaking roof caused part of a ceiling to cave in at the Hawaiian Gardens apartment complex. No one was hurt.

Lauderdale Lakes firefighters turned off the power in nine units at the complex, in the 5100 block of Oakland Park Boulevard, as a precaution. The power in those units remains off until officials deem it safe enough to return.

Fire and Rescue interim Chief James Quinn said only two families had to be relocated because the other units were not occupied at the time.

Staff Writer Toni Marshall contributed to this report.