NORTHEAST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A family of 12 has been left without a place to call home after, they said, a fire decimated their mobile home, Thursday afternoon.
7News cameras captured the charred remains of what used to be the kitchen and one of the bedrooms of the home, located in the area of Biscayne Boulevard and 113th Street, in Northeast Miami-Dade.
Victim Tsephania Jerome, 14, said her family was unable to salvage any belongings. “Everything we have, my passport, we have nothing left,” she said.
Cellphone video captured the mobile home engulfed in flames as firefighters attempted to extinguish the blaze.
All Jerome and her loved ones could do is stand outside their home and watch it burn. “It just got me upset, like, why did this happen to us?” she said.
Three generations of Jerome’s family lived inside the five-bedroom mobile home. “I was in my mom’s room,” she said.
Tsephania said she was home sick from school when her mother smelled smoke and yelled for everyone to get out.
“We lost everything,” said victim Betina Lamy. “We don’t save nothing, only the clothes. That’s all.”
Sixty-five-year-old Cilotte Lamy said the fire was out of control when she came home. “I not come on this side because it was too much,” she said.
After crews were able to put out the flames, the interior of the home was barely recognizable. Nothing was left except ashes, debris and the frame of the mobile home. The flames even consumed the outside furniture.
Cilotte told 7News that her savings, totaling $500 in cash, was also destroyed in the fire.
Friday afternoon, the family, comprised of seven adults, three teens and two toddlers, sat outside with food and water given to them by neighbors.
The family across the street brought them some clothes. “They’re our best friends, and they’re like our family,” said neighbor Maria Mesa.
Friday evening, Sergio Ruiz, the trailer park’s property manager, asked other residents for donations to help out. “These people are going through a rough time, and I wanted to do something for them,” he said.
Resident Solimon Louis even handed Betina a $50 bill. “Wow,” she said as she held up the bill to 7News.
“They can buy their food, clothes,” said neighbor Jessica Hernandez.
“Anybody can have a problem like that,” said Louis.
The family is facing an uncertain future, but they are relieved no one was hurt. “I love my family a lot, because family is not replaceable, and everything in this house is,” said Jerome. “That’s what I really care about. I’m just happy that all my family is alive.”
Ruiz’s impromptu fundraiser raised about $800 in cash. The American Red Cross has given the family a voucher for a two-night stay at a hotel.
The family said Florida Power and Light told them the cause of the fire was electrical.
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