LAUDERHILL, FLA. (WSVN) - Firefighters have extinguished a fire inside a high-rise in Lauderhill.
Lauderhill and City of Sunrise Fire Rescue units responded to the apartment building, located along Northwest 44th Street and Rock Island Road just before 10 a.m., Tuesday.
Cellphone video captured thick, black smoke coming from one of the apartment units.
The fire was put out nearly an hour later.
“They had to kick the door in,” said Sheron Hollin, a neighbor. “Then I saw the blazing.”
7SkyForce HD flew over the scene where firefighters could be seen working their way up to a balcony with heavy fire damage.
Firefighters originally thought there were people trapped inside the building where the fire was coming from, but it was later discovered they were just onlookers on their balconies.
“My neighbors came knocking on my door saying, “Yes, it is real. Let’s go!” said Danette St. Hilaire, a neighbor. “When I looked, I saw the fire was just bursting out. I’m like, “Oh, my goodness. This is for real, for real.”
One responding firefighter with heat-related injuries and a woman from a neighboring apartment unit suffering from chest pain were treated on scene.
The couple who lived in the apartment unit that caught fire was not home at the time it ignited and have since been displaced.
“It really is stressful,” said Carl Jebodh, owner of the burned out unit, “and friends of mine are reaching out and stuff like that, so I really appreciate it.”
Jebodh was at work when he received the call to return home immediately.
“I reached over here to find out that it really was my unit that was on fire,” said Jebodh.
Six units below the destroyed apartment now have water damage.
Jebodh said he and his partner lost everything.
“I never thought, in my life, that I would ever go through this,” said Jebodh. “I’ve got to start from scratch. That’s what it comes down to.”
Firefighters said the Red Cross is helping the victims.
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.
Meanwhile, Jebodh is left to put his life back together after losing everything to the fire. If you wish to help, there’s a GoFundMe campaign for donations.
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