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Flames Torch Family’s Home Just Before New Year

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Miami Heat

LAUDERHILL (CBSMiami) – A Lauderhill family is homeless just a few days before New Year’s after a fire tore through their home early Thursday morning. Shaquille Joseph said the blaze began in his room and quickly spread throughout the house.

“This is my living room right here,” Shaquille said pointing to burned out remains. “This is definitely the ceiling right here, all over the floor with mud everywhere from the firefighters. That’s my couch, whatever is left of it. The TV is completely destroyed.”

Joseph said he and his brother had just left the home around 12:30 a.m. Thursday to grab some burgers when the fire broke out. He saw the flames as he arrived back at his home.

“I saw my window, like, blackish, kind of like this with orange in it, just orange flames in it, orange light coming out,” Joseph recalled.

Home video of the fire showed an orange fireball that Shaquille said he saw in his bedroom. Immediately upon seeing the fire, Shaquille said he raced into the home to find Anthony Joseph desperately trying to battle the blaze.

But by then, the fire was already out of control.

“I tried to take a waste paper basket in the bathroom and throw water on it, but the smoke was already so thick, I couldn’t throw enough water on the fire,” Joseph said.

It was a lost cause though as the house, the memories inside of it, and nearly all of their possessions went up in flames.

“I’ve lost a lot of sentimental stuff, but I’m glad my kids and myself are alive,” Joseph said. “I can always buy this stuff back and fix this place up, but I can’t buy back a life.

“A couple of hours ago, all this was here, we were living here,” Shaquille said after letting out a sigh. “We were living here for about 10 years now, more than 10 years now. So it’s just blowing my mind that all of it is gone and we just gotta start over.”

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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