DESTIN — Forecasters had been warning Northwest Florida residents for days about the storms that blasted through the area Thursday morning.


The severe weather, which had moved out by the afternoon, seemed to have the greatest impact in Destin, where it tangled traffic, damaged several structures and may have sparked two town home fires.


According to Destin Fire Control District Battalion Chief Jeff Anderson, crews were called to Southbay by the Gulf on U.S. Highway 98 just before noon for a town home fire.


He said it was unclear whether lightning or a power line on the roof caused the fire, but as soon as firefighters extinguished that blaze they noticed a town home at the opposite end of the complex was on fire.


The residents were home when the first fire started but got out safely. Firefighters rescued a dog from the second unit.


Crews from Okaloosa Island Fire Department and North Bay Fire Control District assisted.


Neither unit is habitable, but both can be repaired, he said.


In addition to the fires, crews responded to an awning that blew off and landed in the middle of U.S. 98 and a roof that was blown off a home on Gulf Shore Drive.


“It was very bizarre to have what we had,” Anderson said.


“We went from a fire alarm to the roof being blown off the house,” he said. “From there we went to the town home fire.”