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LAUDERHILL (CBSMiami) – Six families are homeless after a fast-moving fire swept through a two-story building early Tuesday morning.
The fire broke out in a first floor unit in the Fairways at Inverarry complex, at 4024 Inverrary Boulevard, around 7:30 a.m. It quickly spread to neighboring units.
When Chopper 4 arrived, flames and thick smoke were billowing out of the roof of the building.
“I was so scared because the smoke and the fire was spreading so fast I said ‘oh my God, I gotta get out’,” recalled resident Juliette Whyte who escaped with her 9-year old daughter.
Residents of the building were safely evacuated. Firefighters were able to keep the fire contained to one building.
“We had to set our alert zones, get everyone out of the structure due to a roof collapse on second floor in the center of the building,” said Lauderhill Fire Captain Jerry Gonzalez.
Gonzalez confirmed that the fire was accidental after a resident in the first floor unit left a hot iron unattended.
He added that the resident delayed calling 911 because he tried to put out the fire himself.
Resident Carmen Pagan was overwhelmed to find herself homeless.
“It’s hard you know. I’ve never been through something like this before,” she said. “They said the building is condemned. I can’t go back in and get my stuff.”
“It’s devastating. It’s not a nice feeling to see everyone is out of their homes and lost their precious valuables,” said another resident who identified herself as ‘Jackie.’ “Thank God that everybody is still alive. Thank God for that.”
The red cross is providing shelter for 23 residents.