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Lightning Caused Fire at Albemarle County Apartment Building

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A portion of Villas at Southern Ridge Apartments damaged by a fire (FILE IMAGE) A portion of Villas at Southern Ridge Apartments damaged by a fire (FILE IMAGE)
Fire at the Villas at Southern Ridge (FILE IMAGE) Fire at the Villas at Southern Ridge (FILE IMAGE)
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

Investigators say they now know the cause of a fire that left an Albemarle County apartment building in ruin and displaced several people.

Officials say a bolt of lightning sparked the fire at the Villas at Southern Ridge Thursday, August 30.

Flames rekindled a few hours later after crews cleared the scene. The roof became fully engulfed in flames, and collapsed onto the second floor of the building.

No one was injured.

Patrick Malichi, who lives in a neighboring building, says the fire happened far too close to home.

“It's the kind of thing that could happen anywhere. You don't just want to live in fear of it, just hope it doesn't happen,” he said.

According to investigators, the apartment building didn't have fire sprinklers.

Six people needed assistance from the Red Cross after they were displaced by the flames.

Fire officials say more than 25 strikes of lightning were recorded within a mile of the complex. They used that evidence, along with witnesses, to determine the cause of the fire.