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Ponte Vedra Beach office evacuated after lightning strikes roof

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Updated: 8/22/2013 10:41 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Thursday's storm system sparked a scare for employees in one local office building.

Dozens were forced to evacuate after lightning struck the roof of their building located off Palm Valley Road in Ponte Vedra Beach.

"It rocked the building," said Tom Maloney, who operates an insurance agency inside the building. "It scared me and I jumped out of my chair. My wife came in from the other room, she looked like she was about to cry."

Maloney says it all happened in a split second.

The booming crack of lightning coupled with a blinding flash right outside his insurance office.

"When you hear it and it hits and a flash and a bang at one time, it's pretty scary," said Maloney.

St. Johns County Fire and Rescue arrived within minutes.

Firefighters inspected each room, trying to pinpoint any potential danger.

The lightning strike didn't spawn a fire. But many inside reported a strong presence of smoke.

People eventually returned to work after about an hour.

Maloney says he is thankful it was a false alarm for firefighters. "I've never been struck by lightning but just being in the building, it really shocks you."
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