NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A family is without a home, Thursday, after a fire destroyed a Northwest Miami-Dade duplex.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crews rushed to the scene, just before 6 a.m., where the fire started. The duplex, located at 9395 N.W. 8th Ave., was boarded up by Thursday afternoon.
The fire was extinguished by firefighters shortly after, but the damage done to the home was irreparable. “At this present time, we don’t know the cause of the fire, but there is extensive damage to the structure,” said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Lt. Felipe Lay.
Three people lived inside the duplex that was destroyed by the fire, and five people lived in the neighboring unit that sustained minor damage.
Thankfully, the family of three was able to run to safety in the nick of time. “I got my family out. That’s about it,” said fire victim Nancy Cahrier as she sobbed. “Nothing else.”
Cahrier told 7News she was sleeping when suddenly the smell of smoke woke her up. “We were sleeping. I woke up because I smelled something funny,” said Cahrier. “I saw a red glow, and then, when I stood up, I went out in the hallway, and my hair started to feel funny. I saw the fire, I screamed and I got my daughter and I got my husband out. I knocked on the window of the people next door to me so they could get out. I didn’t want anybody else hurt.”
Cahrier’s screams worked. Her neighbors were able to evacuate safely, as well. They told 7News they were thankful the fire did not do much damage to their home.
“I just heard a scream, and they just said, ‘Get out!'” said Lestorley Jean Baptiste, who lives next door. “And when I got out of there, I just saw the fire.”
Other neighbors said the sound of an explosion woke them up. “I just heard something ‘boom’ because I live in that apartment building right there,” said neighbor Vernoh Tarver.
Cahrier and her husband, Louie Perez, said they lost everything in the fire, including their small dog. “The dog, everything stayed inside,” Perez said.
Cahrier said they had her for three years. However, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said they could not find the dog in the wreckage. “The fact that they didn’t find her remains in there, I’m kind of stunned,” she said. “Other than being on top of the bed or under the bed, she’s gotta be in there somewhere.”
Now, the American Red Cross is helping a total of nine people displaced by the fire.
The family of three returned Thursday afternoon to see what was left. “How can you feel? My whole life just went up in smoke,” Cahrier said.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
The Cahrier family will spend the remainder of the day attempting to salvage whatever they can of their home. If you would like to help, please visit the Cahrier family’s GoFundMe page.
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