Lightning Strikes Spark Fires, Cause Damage Amid SoCal Storm

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A palm tree caught fire in Koreatown after being hit by lightning on March 7, 2016. (Credit: Ken Chung/Twitter)

Lightning strikes during a powerful thunderstorm that rolled through Southern California on Monday morning caused trees to catch fire and sparked a blaze that resulted in tens of thousands of dollars in damages at several businesses.

Video posted to Twitter shortly before 7 a.m. captured the moments after a lightning bolt struck in the area of Mariposa Avenue and Second Street. The strike ignited a palm tree sitting in the front yard of a residential property.

Twitter user Ken Chung, who recorded the footage while heading to work, said he immediately dialed 911 to report the blaze.

In Mission Viejo, firefighters responded to the 26000 block of Crown Valley Parkway after an attic fire erupted when the structure was hit by lightning, according to the Orange County Fire Authority.

The flames were extinguished, but not before a total of five businesses were impacted. The blaze caused about $30,000 in damages, fire officials said.

Some residents reported being awoken by the storm, which brought lightning, thunder, heavy rain and even hail to parts of the Southland in the overnight and early morning hours.