SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – A Southwest Miami-Dade family was able to escape from their house after it caught fire, and they said their smoke detector alerted them about the blaze that destroyed their home.
Cellphone video captured large flames shooting from the roof and thick, black smoke billowing from the home, located near Southwest 143rd Place Circle and 142nd Avenue, early Friday morning.
It was a heartbreaking start of the new year for Vincent Roales and his loved ones.
“Basically, everything is just destroyed,” he said.
The homeowner said he had to act quickly when he was alerted about the fire.
“I looked at the chimney, it was in flames,” he said.
Rosales said he got his family out of the house and tried to contain the flames with a garden hose until Miami-Dade Fire Rescue units arrived, just after 3 a.m.
“Upon arrival, we found flames and smoke showing,” said MDFR Lt. Omar Blanco.
First responders immediately jumped into action to battle the flames.
“We were able to take a very offensive attack and put out the fire and save the residents connected on the left and right of the home,” said Blanco.
One of those neighbors was Verma Anderson, who said she was woken up by frantic knocking at the door.
“I went into my kitchen, looked through the window, and then I saw the two cops,” she said, “and then [one of them] said, ‘Your neighbor’s house is on fire. You’ve got to get out, now.’”
Everyone made it out safely, including Roales’ dog. Cellphone video recorded by MDFR captured crews giving oxygen to the family pet.
“We’re alive. That’s the most important thing, especially at this time,” said Roales.
The family returned to the home on Friday to assess the damage left behind.
Despite the interior appearing to be completely destroyed, Roales said he’s thankful things didn’t turn out worse.
“Some material stuff is not important. What’s important is we have a family — all my kids are safe, my dog — and just move on,” he said.
The American Red Cross is helping the family, who are staying in a hotel Friday night.
Roales said he has insurance.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
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