By Peter D'Oench

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A West Miami-Dade house went up in flames just days before Christmas sending one person to the hospital.

One of the residents of the home, Adeline Collazo, said she was sleeping when the blaze broke out. She and her 88-year-old husband, Julio Collazo, could have lost their lives.

The couple’s son said his parents bought the home in 1962 for $13,000. He said they had no insurance on the home.

There were some emotional moments outside the home located at 5739 SW 12th Street.

Adeline was able to escape unharmed after the blaze erupted but her husband was less fortunate, as he was overwhelmed by smoke and burns.

“I’m sleeping… I see the smoke and I wake up, and I go out the room and I open the door and get out, and I couldn’t get out again because of the smoke. My husband was inside and he’s at the hospital, but he’s in very bad shape,” said Adeline.

When asked if she knew what may have caused the fire, she said “I don’t know. That’s what I want to know… anytime is bad. Christmas time is worse.”

Collazo told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “Now I don’t know what I am going to. I just don’t know.”

Rescue crews rushed in to try to control the blaze but ran into some issues before rescuing her husband.

“Units arrived, checked the back of the house, made entry and unfortunately, the conditions were so hot that they had to go back out, retreat, and our secondary unit, engine 14, arrived and went through the front of the house and found the patient immediately right there within 10-feet of the front door. They pulled the victim, took him out and began medical care. The house is a total loss, ” said Lt. Felipe Lay with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue. “Right now we don’t know where this fire started.”

A neighbor, Demetrious Doumenis, said Adeline tried to rescue her husband before firefighters got to the scene.

“She tried to get back inside to get Julio,” he said. “My main concern was trying to get Adeline out. I believe the fire started in a front room and then spread through the house.”

When asked what was left after the fire, Adeline had a heartbreaking answer.

“I lose everything. I lose everything,” said Adeline.

Adeline and her son are by her husband’s side. At last check, he was in critical condition at Kendall Regional Medical Center.

The Collazos’ son said he believes the fire was caused by a faulty electrical outlet in a front room of the house.

Loved ones were able to rescue one of the Collazos’ five cats from the home. The son said at least one of the other cats had died because of the fire.


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