Lightning Sparks Charlotte, North Carolina Apartment Fire

Lightning struck a south Charlotte apartment building Sunday, causing a fire and about $200,000 in damage and forcing at least one person to seek emergency shelter, fire officials said. No one was hurt.

Charlotte firefighters were called to the Carmel on Providence Apartments about 5 p.m. Four apartments at the complex were damaged by the blaze near Fairview and Providence roads. About 50 firefighters controlled the blaze in less than an hour.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said the lightning strike was one of at least three that hit the county during a storm that swept through the area. The other strikes were at houses in the 2200 block of Newhart Road and in the 7700 block of Hedrick Circle -- both in northwest Mecklenburg.

Police said the storm caused scattered but mostly minor damage, including downed power lines. Duke Power officials said the heavy thunderstorms left 9,500 customers without power just before 7 p.m. About 4,800 power outages were in Fort Mill, S.C; 825 were in Matthews, 730 in Mooresville and 530 in Gastonia, officials said.