PEMBROKE PINES, FLA. (WSVN) - A fatal fire that left a family’s home destroyed in Pembroke Pines has broken out for a second time.
The fire broke out at Westfield Townhomes along the 8000 block of Palm Tree Lane, at around 3 a.m., Tuesday.
Rescue crews said they saw heavy smoke and flames coming from one of the townhomes.
Pembroke Pines Fire Rescue evacuated six connecting townhomes due to smoke damage.
“It was a lot of smoke, and the flames just kept going and going, and then spreading,” said neighbor Candace Thomas. “What I noticed was happening is, it’s not until cops were knocking on doors that people were coming out. There was this house here, they didn’t smell anything, they didn’t hear anything until the cops came, but this whole back row was smoky.”
Residents stood outside as they watched smoke and flames billow through the townhouse’s windows.
“We got woken up to it,” Thomas said. “It was about like 3, 3:15, and we kept hearing, like, crackling noises.”
Two children were taken to a nearby hospital for smoke inhalation. They continue to receive treatment as of Tuesday afternoon.
One family cat died due to the heavy smoke. A second cat was taken to a nearby animal hospital.
“See that orange poster on one of the windows over there? That’s mine, was mine,” resident Dominic Treta said. “I’m pretty sure I [lost everything]. A guy pounded on my door and scared the bejesus out of me yesterday about 2:30, and I just put these shorts on and ran outside.”
Firefighters were able to put out the blaze, but had to return to the scene just before 9 a.m. when the flames reignited.
7SkyForce hovered over the scene where firefighters could be seen dousing the townhouse with water. A large portion of the roof has since collapsed.
Initially, the fire was contained to one townhouse. After the fire reignited, the fire spread to another four townhouses.
Residents said they have complained about the electrical issues inside their homes before and are questioning why the fire department left the scene with room for the fire to reignite.
One resident, Christina, said all she can do is pray for those who have been affected.
“It got put out, but then the fire trucks left,” she said. “Then, it rekindled and now it’s spreading to the other homes, and I’ve been doing nothing but praying to God, but it has spread because of the wind, and I don’t understand why the fire department left.”
Firefighters could still be seen tackling the flames at around noon.
“If they know that the conditions are windy and there’s a chance of rekindling because all these apartments share the ducts in the attics, they should not have left,” Christina said. “I’m heartbroken for my neighbors.”
When asked what he was going to do following the fire, Treta said, “Start all over again at the tender young age of 84. You know, you got to do what you got to do. I’m glad that my health is still pretty good. You got to do it.”
Fire investigators said the fire was electrical in nature and began in the porch area of one of the townhomes. It remains under investigation.
The American Red Cross is helping the six displaced families. If you would like to donate to help the families recover from the fire, click here to be redirected to their GoFundMe page.
Copyright 2023 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.