POMPANO BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A man was able to escape from his home after a fire broke out at a duplex in Pompano Beach that left him and three others without a place to call home and claimed the life of a pet.
Pompano Beach Fire Rescue units responded to the scene of the blaze along the 800 block of Southwest Seventh Street, just before 5 a.m., Sunday.
Hours later, 68-year-old Theork Almeus showed a 7News crew the smoke damage to his home.
“I see smoke come out right there,” he said as he pointed to a blackened wall.
Almeus said he woke up to his bedroom filled with smoke and the unit next door engulfed in flames.
“I just open the door and come out quick,” he said.
Crews arrived to find flames shooting from inside a back bedroom in one of the duplex units.
Firefighters were able to douse the flames.
“Fire is knocked down pretty quick, and we contained the fire to that back unit only,” said Pompano Beach Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Vincent Hreso.
The people who lived in the unit that fully engulfed were able to get out, but their two dogs were trapped inside.
“We were able to pull out one dog and a second one that was deceased. The first one is alive and well,” said Hreso. “We did evaluate one person that has minor injuries.”
Almeus said the fire and smoke from the other unit spread to his home and left it filled with smoke damage to his kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, closet and living room.
“I come out and I open the door, I come out,” he said.
Almeus said he and his sister have lived there for 23 years, and since fire officials have deemed both units unsafe, they will have to find someplace else to live for the time being.
But although many of their lifelong belongings were ruined, he said, the outcome could have been a lot worse.
“I don’t die,” he said.
Volunteers with the American Red Cross responded to the scene to assist the families that were displaced.
Almeus said his smoke detectors were not working.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
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