Family escapes house fire in SW Miami-Dade; home deemed total loss

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A family in Southwest Miami-Dade is thankful to be alive after a fire forced them out of their home, and they said their property is a total loss.

7News cameras captured Miami-Dade Fire Rescue investigators at the home near Southwest 65th Terrace and 127th Path in the Kendale Lakes neighborhood, Thursday afternoon.

Officials said the blaze sparked just before 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

“The fire, so fast, so hot. We had curtains melt off the side of the house,” said homeowner Lee Hindsman. “Crazy fast, super hot.”

The flames were so intense that they melted the grill off the family’s SUV parked outside.

Homeowner Carol Hindsman tried to put it out, but the flames just spread too quickly.

“It’s physical and material, but we’re safe,” she said.

The family said a scented candle was burning one minute, and all of a sudden, their home was on fire.

“In 90 seconds, the alarms were going off, and it was beyond our capability. We had to get out,” said Lee.

Fighting back tears, Carol counted her blessings after she and her family escaped fast-moving flames that started in her 11-year-old son’s bedroom.

“He was pretty shook up,” she said.

The mother quickly jumped into action, telling 7News when the alarms started going off, she began using their personal fire extinguisher to battle the blaze.

“That was my first attempt to go and fight the flames, but it quickly became something that was not for us to do,” she said.

Realizing it was too much to handle, Carol said, she called 911 and got her family to safety.

“We took the best way out, which was to get my elderly mom, my pets, my kids and my husband,” she said.

Their home was badly burned. The fire destroyed two bedrooms.

Lee said the damage was so extensive, no one is allowed inside. He said he’s thankful his wife heard the smoke alarm go off when she did.

“[If she hadn’t], I wouldn’t be giving you this message. Yeah, completely different story,” he said.

The family lost a cat but saved five other animals.

Despite the tragedy, Lee said, they have each other.

“I’ve got my family, and let me tell you, it renews the bonds,” he said. “Your family is golden, love them, cherish them. I’ll rebuild the house, whatever, but you can’t bring your family back.”

The Hindsmans have been forced to find another place to stay. Carol said they’re grateful they didn’t have to look too far.

“We have wonderful friends. Not only our neighbors are like family, so we have a choice of where to stay, and that’s more than we can ask for,” she said.

The American Red Cross is helping the family out.

The cause of the house fire remains under investigation.

Family members and friends have set up a GoFundMe to help the Hinsman family. If you would like to donate, click here.

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