2 taken to hospital after Margate house fire

MARGATE, FLA. (WSVN) - Firefighters from a host of agencies worked to put out a large house fire in Margate that sent two people to the hospital.

Margate Fire Rescue said a U.S. Postal Service carrier was among the victims who suffered smoke inhalation after coming upon the fire Thursday afternoon and seeing if anyone was inside.

One firefighter was also evaluated after possibly suffering heat exhaustion.

Both are expected to be OK.

Crews from Margate-Coconut Creek, Coral Springs, Sunrise and North Lauderdale Fire Rescue departments responded to the scene near Park Drive and East River Drive.

Firefighters were initially inside the home, but they were forced to exit due to the intensity of the fire.

Homeowner Lou Didomenicis was inside of the house asleep at the time. His tenant, who lives in another part of the house, was already outside when the fire started.

“I’m so destroyed, it’s hard for me to talk,” said Didomenicis. “My whole life’s wrapped up in this thing. I have two dogs in there, and I don’t know what to do.”

Didomenicis said, when he awoke during the fire, he witnessed the mail carrier, identified as John Sylvain, trying to put out the flames with a fire extinguisher.

“One of them gave me an extinguisher, I believe it was the next-door neighbor. I got the extinguisher, trying to extinguisher the fire,” Sylvain said. I couldn’t do it from the inside, so I asked the guy with the brownish hair, ‘Could I break the window and try to get the fire from this angle?’ He told me, ‘OK,’ so I broke the window and started spraying the fire.”

Despite Sylvain’s efforts, the house was still damaged, and two dogs were lost in the fire.

“I’m 59, and I don’t know what to do,” Didomenicis said.

The cause of the fire is currently unknown. The residents believe the fire may have started with the water heater. However, their biggest concern is just finding out where they will stay.

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