Home of prominent Bay Area attorney struck by lightning, family dog killed

Posted at 9:13 PM, Aug 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-25 00:43:34-04

TAMPA — A dog died in a home fire Friday evening that authorities say appeared to be started by a lightning strike.

It happened at about 7:30 p.m. at a house located at 5117 W. San Jose St.

The home belongs to prominent Tampa Bay attorney Keith Ligori.  Family members rushed to the scene holding onto hope that their dog would be rescued.  An hour after the fire broke out crews pulled the dog out of the home.

"It’s a definite hit to the family when there’s a pet that perished in a situation like this," Jason Penny the spokesperson for Tampa Fire said.

Penny said the fire was too intense for crews to go into the home.  ABC Action News was there as a ladder truck hit the roof with water as flames shot into the sky. The cause is still under investigation but preliminary information from witnesses and the burn marks in the home point to weather.

"You add all those things up based on that and what it looks like right now the intensity of the flames burning the house we believe it was likely a lightning strike," Penny said. 

No one was home when the fire started.

A next-door neighbor said her house shook when the bolt hit.