A massive fire broke out at a condominium complex on South Padre Island, located on the southern tip of Texas, Saturday morning.
The fire, which sent a cloud of flames and thick black smoke into the air, may have been sparked by a lightning strike, according to initial National Weather Service reports. Storms were in the area at the time.
No one was injured in the blaze at Gulf Point Condominiums, officials said at a news conference.
The fire started just before 7:30 a.m. local time on the east side of the building before moving toward the center, a South Padre fire official said.
The inferno was contained by 2 p.m. but the building was a total loss, the official said.
"A piece of is island history is lost," Mayor Patrick McNulty said at the news conference.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Roy Garcia, 55, is visiting the island with his family and is staying at the Sapphire Condominiums near where the fire broke out. He told NBC News that they heard a loud boom followed by the sound of an alarm.
When his daughter went to the window, she could see flames and clouds of smoke coming from the Gulf Point Condominiums.
"There's several cars that were damaged," he said. "Some completely burned by the fire."
Garcia, who is from the Brownsville, Texas area, said it took a while for firefighters to contain the blaze.
Camila Crisp, 23, is staying at the Sapphire Condominiums and said she also heard a loud boom.
"This morning we woke up to some thunderstorms and we just thought it was ordinary thunderstorms out here," she said.
"For a minute I thought maybe there was some sort of a tornado or something just because it was a huge cloud of smoke," she added.
Crisp, of San Antonio, said she could see the fire from her balcony. "I saw the entire building going up in flames," she said.
Neighboring fire departments, including from the town of Laguna Vista, assisted with putting out the blaze.
"Please keep all the first responders and everyone else there in your prayers," the Laguna Vista Police Department posted on Facebook earlier Saturday.