NORTH LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - An alarming scene unfolded in the quiet hours of the night as flames consumed a residence in North Lauderdale, jolting a family of four and their neighbors awake.
“It was terrifying to get woken up in the middle of the night out of a dead sleep to come out and see that your neighbor’s house is burning like that, you know it was scary,” said Michelle Barandes, a neighbor.
On Friday, just before 1 a.m., fire rescue crews immediately got to work after they responded to a distress call reporting a house fire in a residential neighborhood. Four people were injured, including a toddler and her mother.
Cell phone footage captured before authorities arrived revealed the intensity of the fire that ravaged the home.
“They were like ‘It’s a fire! Come out, come out,'” recalled Evelanette Johnson, another neighbor.
The focus shifted to the occupants inside, including a mother, her 3-year-old daughter, a father, and an adult son.
“The son came across the gate, and he was screaming, ‘My mom, my mom,'” shared Johnson.
Division Chief of Operations at North Lauderdale Fire Rescue, Nelson Canizares, provided details on the challenging rescue mission when he arrived at the scene.
“It looked like we had a fire. We have a State Fire Marshal investigating at this time. We had a call of a fire, and when they got there, it was 4 victims: a 30-year-old female, a 3-year-old female, a 30-year-old male, and a 21-year-old male,” stated Chief Canizares.
The firefighters encountered heavy smoke conditions and flames emanating from the back corner of the structure. Police at the scene informed the rescue team of the victims located on the back side of the building.
“One of our firefighters, our captains, was able to pull out the two victims and were able to save and take them to the front of the house and initiate CPR on the 34-year-old mother and were able to pull out the 3-year-old daughter as well,” Chief Canizares reported.
The rescuers successfully conducted life-saving measures outside the residence before transporting the victims to Broward General Hospital. Additionally, fire crews rescued two dogs from the burning home.
The mother and her daughter are currently in critical condition, receiving medical attention at the hospital. The injured men are reported to be in stable condition at Broward General Hospital.
Fire officials reported that thanks to the swift response of the firefighters, the mother and baby are expected to survive.
“Very proud of the firefighters and the hard work that they do, coming out here — no matter what time– they are ready to work,” Canizares expressed with pride.
The aerial view from 7SkyForce revealed the aftermath of the fire, with the back corner of the residence charred and damaged.
Code enforcement arrived to declare the home unsafe, indicating a long road to rebuilding and recovery for the affected family.
“It’s so sad because they seem like they’re very nice people,” expressed Barandes.
The fire itself is under investigation by the State Fire Marshal.
Please check back on WSVN.com and 7News for more details on this developing story.
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