Fort Lauderdale home total loss after fire

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Two Fort Lauderdale families have been displaced following two separate house fires.

The first house, located in the area of Northwest 15th Terrace and 13th Court, was found engulfed by flames when Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue crews responded to the scene at around 7:30 a.m., Friday.

Four family members were not home when the fire erupted but have since been displaced.

“Heavy smoke, heavy flames coming from all sides of the structure. Crews initiated an aggressive attack right away, knocking the bulk of the fire down, but they found multiple issues with structural integrity with pieces of ceiling from the roof already caving in,” said Battalion Chief Steve Shaw of Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue.

The house was so badly damaged that firefighters were forced to pull back.

“Mainly right now, the issue right now is structural integrity. We don’t want to send our crews into a situation where the roof may possibly cave in on them,” said Shaw.

The American Red Cross was dispatched to assist the family, as the home was declared a total loss.

“When I smelled the smoke, I thought it was my sprinkler system. I came outside and saw the smoke when I walked there,” said neighbor Jeff Lawson. “By the time I got there, there was a guy pulled up in a van trying to snatch the gate open. One lady was trying to get back into the house, but then the Fire Rescue pulled up, and I walked off. It’s destroyed; the house is over.”

A family who lives about three miles south, near Southwest 27th Avenue and Seventh Street, found themselves in a similar predicament.

Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue crews responded to the second home that caught fire about two hours later, around 9 a.m., Friday.

A blaze broke out from the back of the house and spread to a shed.

The American Red Cross is now also helping the second family find a place to stay.

The causes of both fires are currently under investigation.

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