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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — More than three dozen people will have to find a new place to stay after a smoky fire damaged their Miami apartment building.

The fire broke out Wednesday morning at 1150 NW 29th Street. Arriving fire crews were met with heavy smoke billowing out of a second floor window.

“They found heavy smoke and flames on the first floor and it had migrated to the second floor, two apartments were already in engulfed and we had to punch through the roof,” said Miami Fire Chief Oscar Porras.

“I went to find my mom, make sure she was out of the building and then I went back inside to get my cat, he was on the bed crying,” said Omar Mena.

Mena said he began to smell smoke around 7:30 a.m. and went to see what was going on.

“We walked to the back to see what was happening, the whole wall was gone, everything was torn down because of a fire,” said Mena.

The building’s residents, many who had small children and pets, were able to make it out safely.

“Once we all got out I went back, all the kids were out, they were getting out, the worst area was the first floor, you couldn’t see anything but we all got out and we’re now waiting,” said Mena.

Firefighters were able to put out the fire but not before 16 apartments were damaged. For safety reasons, the power has been turned off to the building.

The Red Cross has been called in to assist 40 to 45 people who live there find temporary shelter.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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