Update 9:30 p.m: Bay County fire officials battled flames at two homes Tuesday afternoon. The fires began around 2:30 p.m., which was right in the middle of poor weather impacting the Bay County area.

Officials said they believe lightning strikes started the fires at both homes.

The two homes were located in the College Point area, one on North Bay Drive, and the other on Radcliff Avenue.

Several agencies responded to find flames shooting out of the roofs of both homes.

“We believe strongly believe that with lightning strikes that caused fires, both of the homes had attic-based fires,” Bay County Chief of Emergency Services Brad Monroe said.

The fires spread quickly, gutting both of the houses. Firefighters poured as much water as they could onto the structures.

Neighbors came outside, watching helplessly as the roof collapsed on the Radcliff home. The flames rose out of the ruins for hours

Officials said attic fires are difficult to combat.

“Most attics spaces are open and it allows the fire to quickly spread from one end of the structure to the other,” Monroe said.

It would not be unusual for a lighting strike to have caused both of these fires. It is unusual that both occurred less than a block from each other.

“We live in Florida, and there’s an awful lot of lightning strikes in Florida, it’s a dangerous part of the environment that we live in,” Monroe said. “Lightning strikes are very difficult to predict and they’re very difficult to extinguish the fires that they cause so it’s a frustrating thing to deal with from the fire department standpoint.”

Both homes were destroyed, but firefighters were able to keep the flames from spreading.

“I’m very happy we were able to protect the exposures, the homes on either side of both the fires, which were a total loss so we minimized that,” Monroe said.

No one was hurt in the fires. Chief Monroe said his crews will remain on the scene until the fires are completely extinguished

Update 6:00 p.m.: According to Chief of Bay County Emergency Services Brad Monroe, first responders responded to a house fire around 2:30 p.m Tuesday afternoon.

30 firefighters are on scene, along with Bay County Sheriff’s Office, EMS, and several mutual aid partners from around the county.

No injuries have been reported at this time.

Bay County units will stay on scene throughout the night, reporting that the fire is roughly 90% contained.

Officials stated that no other homes in the area were damaged.

Chief Monroe strongly believes that the fires were started by lightning strikes during afternoon thunderstorms that rolled through Bay County.

A previous version of our story can be found below:

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — An intersection in the College Point area of Bay County is shut down due to a structure fire Tuesday afternoon.

According to a news release by the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, the intersection of North Bay Drive / Sewanee Street and Radcliffe Avenue is currently shut down due to a structure fire in the area.

Deputies advise that residents use Harvard Boulevard as a detour until the closure is cleared.