Elderly man critical after West Miami home catches fire

WEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - An elderly man was rescued and rushed to the hospital after his West Miami home went up in flames. Thankfully, his wife was able to escape just in time.

According to officials, when fire rescue crews arrived to the home, located along Southwest 12th Street, early Friday morning, there were heavy flames and smoke spewing from the house.

“I lose everything,” said homeowner Adeline Collazo.

Adeline was the first person to smell smoke and was able to run outside. “I see the smoke, and I wake up, and I go out of the room, and I open the door and get out,” she said.

However, her 88-year-old husband, Julio, was stuck inside. “I couldn’t get out again, because [there was] so much smoke,” said Collazo. “My husband was inside, and he’s at the hospital, but he’s in very bad shape.”

First responders said they tried to break into the back of the house to get to the victim inside, but it was too hot. That’s when they decided to rush to the front of the house, where they found him lying on the floor about 10 feet from the front door.

“Immediately right in 10 feet of the front door, they pulled the victim, took him out,” said Miami-Dade Fire and Rescue Lt. Felipe Lay.

Her husband is now in critical condition at a nearby hospital.

As investigators worked through the remains of the house, family members arrived on the scene.

The family has lived inside the home for 54 years. They told 7News they don’t have homeowner’s insurance.

Investigators have classified the home as a total loss due to the gravity of the fire.

Family members told 7News that cats were inside the house. One was found, and according to family, one did not survive.

Crews were on the scene throughout the afternoon to investigate what caused the fire.

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