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Lightning strike sets Olathe apartment building ablaze

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OLATHE, Kan. -- It took dozens of firefighters hours to put out an apartment complex fire in Olathe Sunday afternoon.

The fire broke out at Avignon Apartment Homes in Olathe near 119th Street and Greenwood Street around 4:30 p.m.

FOX 4's Molly Balkenbush was at the scene and spoke with fire officials.

Officials said 25 people lived in this building. Thankfully, they all made it out safely.

The 911 call came in during a storm.

Fire crews said they weren't initially sure what caused the building to go up in flames, but upon further investigation, determined that the blaze started with a lightning strike.

The fire was under control Sunday night, but crews say when they arrived it was growing bigger by the minute.

Captain Mike Hall of the Olathe Fire Department said his crews worked together with Lenexa and Overland Park units.

"Once we got here a lot of flames a lot of smoke already coming from the roof we got a lot of units here from not only Olathe but Lenexa and Overland Park we usually work together like that," Hall said.

The Red Cross and the Salvation Army were there to help the people who lived in the building. There is no word yet on if the building is a total loss.

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