Family friend speaks out about 3 children who died after Miami house fire

MIAMI (WSVN) - A family friend is speaking out after a grandmother lost three of her grandchildren following a house fire in Miami.

Flames and thick black smoke billowed from the home in the area of Northwest 18th Terrace and 36th Avenue, Monday.

Teresa Garcia, a family friend, said she was in shock when she heard what had happened to Norma Bonilla’s family.

In a family photo, Bonilla could be seen lying on a bed with some of her grandchildren. The flames and smoke trapped four of them inside.

“I couldn’t believe it. I still don’t believe it,” Garcia said. “She love her grandchildren. She really do. I don’t know what’s going to happen with her after all of this.”

Neighbors in the area said a woman ran from the house and called for help.

“I heard a big boom,” one witness said.

“She screamed it, like, ‘The children, the children!'” another witness recalled.

Nearby good Samaritans broke the home’s windows, and one man tried to go inside, but the smoke was too much to handle.

Minutes later, City of Miami Fire Rescue would find the trapped children and rush them to the hospital. Despite the efforts from the good Samaritans and first responders, three of the four children would succumb to their injuries.

“We do know that our firefighters did everything they could to try to revive these kids,” City of Miami Police spokesperson Michael Vega said. “It’s something tragic that we have confirmed that three of the four kids have passed away.”

The children are between the ages 1 and 12, and police have not released their names.

“It’s sad,” Garcia said while holding back tears. “Sorry, sorry, sorry about what happened.”

A total of six family members were taken to the hospital because of the fire.

Several social media posts have been shared to remember the children who were killed.

The family is asking for privacy while they mourn their loved ones’ deaths.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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