PLANTATION (CBS4) – More than two dozen families had to be evacuated Sunday morning after an apartment fire in Plantation.

At least nine of those families were left homeless and have received help by the Red Cross.

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Fire investigators have ruled smoking as the official cause of the fire.

“I was scared, I was totally scared,” said 12-year-old Tiffany Persaud. “It was out of control”

Flames were shooting from the roof of one of the Lake Park Apartments buildings at 4750 NW 10th Court.

“The whole side of my bed was in flames,” said Norris Brown.

Brown lived in the third floor apartment which caught fire. Investigators said Brown admitted he had been smoking inside moments before the apartment went up in flames.

Fire investigators have now ruled smoking the official cause of the fire. But when we asked Brown about it, he told us all he could remember was running to get water to put the fire out.

“I panicked and I fell down and that’s when my brother helped me up and we just ran out,” said Brown.

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Nearly an hour after making it to safety, Brown was still visibly shaken and so was his neighbors.

“This is another one of those days, this whole year has been rough for me and this is just another day that is really bad,” said Patricia Randass who was evacuated from her apartment.

It took firefighters about three hours to extinguish the flames

“I would say it was very quick, the response,” said Robert Lumpkin. “But the fire was faster”

Firefighters say the building itself made extinguishing the flames more difficult.

“The first issue we had was the building had a common roof, which means it is an open space from one end to the other,” said Plantation Fire Department Battalion Chief Joel Gordon.

“So once it burned through the ceiling, the wind pushed it into the second apartment. The other problem we had was it’s a non sprinkler building, which means there’s no water supply on the 3rd floor!”

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Fortunately no one was injured.