MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Two families burned out of their homes in a Miami fire are now left wondering what to do next.READ MORE: Seminoles Suspend Sports Betting After Court Rulings
The fire happened early Thursday at 2620 Northwest 12th Avenue.
“The flames [were] crazy. The whole bed, the window, the curtain from the back room, it was crazy,” said Lilia Rodriguez, who woke up to the sound of the fire alarm around 4 a.m. and saw smoke pouring into her room.
It’s a home she shares with her mom and two kids and recently, the family invited a homeless man, dealing with medical issues, to stay with them.
He reportedly started the fire after his lighter blew up while trying to light a cigarette in bed. He said a curtain then caught fire and it quickly spread from there.
“I was not every playing. As soon as I saw the big flames I was like okay, it’s time to go,” said Rodriguez.READ MORE: 23rd Annual 'A Home For The Holidays At The Grove' Comes To CBS On Sunday, December 5th
They grabbed the kids, woke up the neighbors and called for help.
“We woke up to smoke and a lot of noise. Banging, knocking and glass breaking I didn’t know what was going on,” said their neighbor, Debra Johnson.
Miami Fire Rescue believes the fire was an accident and say all 14 people inside the duplex made it out safely before firefighters arrived.
“This is why smoke detectors save lives. That smoke detector woke up the family as loud as a scream for help and everybody was able to get out,” said Capt. Ignatius Carroll, Miami Fire Rescue.
It was a bittersweet moment for a family that survived but is now left without a home.
“I’m happy, I’m sad. I’m grateful I was able to get my family out, not gonna lie about that but now I’m like, where do I go,” asked Rodriguez.MORE NEWS: Sharp Increase In Hospitalized Children With Covid Investigated In South Africa
The Red Cross was called in to assist both families, a family of four and a family of nine, find a temporary place to stay.