Family of 5 burnt out of Lauderdale Lakes home, dog rescued

LAUDERDALE LAKES, FLA. (WSVN) - A family of five and their family pet have been displaced after a fire erupted inside their Lauderdale Lakes home.

Broward Sheriff’s Fire Rescue crews responded to the home along the 4000 block of Northwest 41st Street at around 5 a.m., Tuesday.

“Right now, we need somewhere to stay,” Lolita Catis, the family’s mother, said. “My clothes are damaged. My furniture is damaged and trying to go somewhere, find somewhere to go.”

According to officials, when rescue crews arrived on the scene, they saw heavy smoke coming from the home.

Catis said Samyiah, her daughter, smelled smoke in her bedroom and ran to wake up her mother.

“I wake my mother and knock on the door,” she said. “I knocked on the door and told her it was smoking in the room, so she came out, she checked in the room and she opened the windows.”

Catis reportedly tried to put the fire out herself before rescue crews arrived at the house.

“When I went in there, and that’s when I saw the fire was all over, was right next to her bed, went in there and tried to put the fire out myself,” Catis said. “I couldn’t get it out, so I dialed 911 and told them my house was on fire.”

Firefighters were able to contain the fire to a bedroom. Four children between the ages of 10 and 14, along with their mother, were able to escape the flames without injury.

“I made sure all the kids was out of the house,” Catis said. “I went into each one of their rooms, and I knocked and told them, ‘OK, there’s a fire. Everybody get up and go out through the back door.'”

The family said they were scared, but they are glad to be OK.

“This was my first time ever seeing this, so it’s like, I was shaking, but thank God my kids, they all was fine and OK,” Catis said. “Nothing happened to my kids, but right now, everything is damaged real bad and her room is all smoked up. Everything in her room is burned down.”

Firefighters were able to locate and rescue the family dog, Gucci, who was hiding in a bedroom, and bring him to safety.

The American Red Cross will be helping the family for the next few days, but after that, the mother said she has no idea what she will do next. Right now, the family is staying at a hotel, but they don’t know how long they will be able to stay there.

Several 7News viewers, like Trinette Mayers, have reached out to help Catis begin recovering from the blaze.

“I was able to send her a little something to lift her up, and I made some calls to some family members,” Mayers said. “You know, as women we always stick together, no matter what. It’s just like we’re all family, even though we don’t know each other.”

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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