HIALEAH (CBSMiami) – A fast-moving, two-alarm fire gutted two townhomes and damaged a third unit, leading to some terrifying moments for victims and their neighbors early Sunday.
One victim told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that she heard some sort of explosion when the blaze broke out.
“We heard explosions and the neighbors were yelling, but there was no fire alarm,” said Judixa Conde, who said she was sleeping when the fire erupted.
It gutted two townhomes at 5832 and 5834 West 18th Court. Those units had a common attic so flames spread quickly.
The owner of the townhome at 5830 told D’Oench that her unit had some damage, but was not destroyed.
Conde said, “It sounded like shots and it was really loud. The flames were really high. We came downstairs and we saw the flames in my backyard and they were really high. It was burning everything outside. Then we saw the flames spreading throughout the other apartments.”
“In reality, we don’t know what happened. A huge fire started in one of the apartments and when we looked, the fire was spreading quickly and now we are waiting to hear what happened. They are not letting us in right now. I heard my neighbors. They were evacuating from their homes because everything was burning,” she added.
At least 15 fire rescue units responded.
Hialeah Fire Rescue Capt. Cesar Espinosa said, “The owner said that they heard an explosion. You can’t see from the front but the back porch and several fenced in areas are completely torched. Crews were able to make a quick attack. They extinguished the fire within the attic. One townhome was fully involved. The whole alleyway was fully involved. The fire went over in to the second floor and then crossed over.”
While no one was hurt, Conde said she was frightened.
“Now I am even more scared because I can’t even get in and we are here dressed the same way we fell asleep. The kids, the dogs, everyone is outside. We don’t know what started the fire,” she said.
Now Conde said she has no home to return to.
“This is so sad,” she said.
It’s currently unknown what caused the blaze and the explosion. Capt. Espinosa said the investigation could take two or three days.
Some victims are staying with friends and relatives.
Espinosa said the American Red Cross was called to help one family.