Family displaced after escaping SW Miami-Dade house fire

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A family has been displaced after their home caught fire in Southwest Miami-Dade, Thursday afternoon.

A man and his stepdaughter escaped from the home, located on the corner of Southwest 73rd Street and 143rd Avenue, after it caught fire, just after 12:20 p.m.

Amanda Guerra said she woke up her stepfather after hearing a bang and then seeing flames coming from the back porch.

“I was in bed, and my daughter heard a bang,” said homeowner Ray Piloto. “She opened the back door, and then she just saw the flame. She ran to my room, woke me up and said, ‘There’s a fire.’ I come out, see the fire.”

They both ran for their lives.

A neighbor captured the black smoke and flames on his cellphone camera.

“‘Call the police, call the firefighters, call 911!'” said neighbor Amber Tuzio. “So, like, we step outside and you just see like black smoke and flames everywhere.”

Nearby resident Jairo Velasquez recorded the thick smoke and fire from the backside of the home as it grew.

Several Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crews rushed to put out the flames.

7Skyforce HD hovered above the home after firefighters got the blaze under control. The entire back of the home was black and burned.

After speaking with firefighters, Piloto has an idea of how the fire may have started. “Maybe the pool pump caught on fire,” said Piloto, “and right beside the pool pump I had some plastic storage shed here that caught on fire, and then the rest of the house burned down.”

Inside the house, everything was covered with ashes and black soot.

According to the family, their home was completely destroyed. They said they’ll have to find another home to celebrate Christmas.

“So close to Christmas. This is like a nightmare,” said Guerra.

“My daughter is worried about the gifts,” said Piloto.

“I had presents under the tree, for sure. So did my little sister,” said Guerra. “I was actually cleaning to get ready for wrapping the gift.”

The family said they still don’t know exactly what happened, but they’re grateful they’re all alive.

“This can be replaced, and we got out on time so we’re all safe, so that’s the number one priority,” said Piloto.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. According to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, it could take a little over a week to determine the cause.

The family is now displaced. The American Red Cross has stepped in to help.

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