By Rudabeh Shahbazi

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A fire in Miami severely damaged a family’s home and claimed the lives of several expensive birds.

David Rodriguez and his wife were asleep in their home when a fire broke out in their backyard.

“We were running for our lives, and the lives of my dogs and my family,” Rodriguez said.

According to the homeowner, his neighbor was having a barbecue, when something caught fire. Rodriguez and his wife woke up to smoke and flames.

“It’s crazy, the amount of fire that was here,” he said. “And obviously I have gas for my boat, for my generator, for equipment for moving tools and all that. All that gas provoked more fire.”

With other homes at risk, City of Miami Fire Rescue knew they had to act fast. Heavy winds and a large oak tree that also caught fire made the task even worse.

“We had a difficult time gaining access to the property, so that delayed ability to get water onto the fire at that time,” said Miami Firefighter Erik Pace. “But we eventually did, and we were able to save approximately three or four structures from it expanding and getting a lot worse.”

While Rodriguez and his wife managed to save their four dogs and a couple of exotic birds, eight parrots, valued at $500 each, he said, died in the inferno.

“All my parrots is my family,” he said. “I can save four that I brought to my neighbor’s house, and my four dogs, but all the rest are gone.”

The birds were born two weeks ago.

The home was severely damaged and the family will likely be displaced.


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