SUNRISE, FLA. (WSVN) - Three families were forced out of their homes after a fire broke out in a Sunrise neighborhood.
7Skyforce hovered above the scene of the blaze in the area of Northwest 62nd Terrace and 26th Street, just after 5:30 p.m., Wednesday.
Cellphone video provided another angle of the flames.
Homeowner Marlene Plummer said she was able to get out of her home of 12 years with only the clothes on her back.
“I didn’t know what to do, ’cause at that time, smoke was already coming in, and I couldn’t grab anything,” she said. “This is all I got on. Everything is gone.”
According to Sunrise Fire Rescue, the fire broke out in a shed and quickly spread to three connected units.
Plummer, 44, said she was working at home with her nieces and nephews when she smelled smoke, looked up and saw the flames heading her way.
“I tried to put it out. It was already too late, ’cause it had already gotten too big,” she said.
Plummer said she called 911.
When firefighters showed up, they were met with plumes of thick black smoke.
Plummer said her home was destroyed in a manner of minutes.
“I’d just remodeled the whole thing. I put up three chandeliers. I’d just remodeled the whole house; even the roof is new,” she said.
Everyone inside the properties was evacuated safely. No one was injured.
“At this time, it appears there’s approximately nine adults, 10 children,” said Sunrise Fire Rescue Chief John McNamara. “[The children’s] ages range from infants to mid-teens. A couple of pets were rescued as well.”
Plummer said she believes the fire was started by children playing with a lighter outside.
“I was there screaming and crying, telling them, ‘Please, put it out, put it out. Please, put it out,’ and they said, ‘I’m trying, I’m trying, I’m trying!'” she said. “I came back inside and got the fire extinguisher. By the time I went back with the fire extinguisher, it was already too late. I couldn’t do anything.”
Officials continue to investigate the official cause of the fire.
As for Plummer, she is still trying to make sense of it and coming to terms with losing everything she owns.
“Blood, sweat and tears, me working for so many years and providing a home for my kids, a stable place for my kids,” she said, “and now they’re all grown and gone, but it’s hard. It’s hard to know that you’ve worked so hard for this, and now it’s a total loss.”
Volunteers with the American Red Cross are assisting the families that were impacted.
“I have to see where I can stay and, I don’t know, I’m confused, I don’t know,” said Plummer.
Crews shut down part of the street for hours while they battled the flames. It has since reopened.
Plummer has set up a GoFundMe page. Anyone who would like to donate to the family can do so here.
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