MIAMI (CBSMiami) – An investigation is underway after an early morning house fire in North Miami Beach.
The fire is believed to have started in a bedroom of the home at 16th Street and 158th Avenue around 3:30 a.m.
The couple who rents part of the home, Shawn Wakeleyn and Amanda Ellis, said the woke to smoke filling their room.
“It was a lot of smoke, you couldn’t see anything it was so smoky you couldn’t see anything at all,” said Ellis
Wakeleyn got Ellis and their dog out and then went back inside their landlord on the floor unconscious.
“I had to do what I had to do to get my people out first and then I ran back in there and he was halfway out his door and halfway in the kitchen. So I grabbed him and yanked him as far as I could get him before the smoke started affecting me. I got him in the kitchen and then I ran out the door and that’s when the ambulance came and they pulled him out. Obviously, he was knocked out before I even got to him,” said Wakeleyn.
The homeowner was taken to the hospital to be treated for burns and smoke inhalation.
“It’s scary because you go to bed expecting to wake up in the morning to your alarm clock not to smoke. Luckily he woke up because like the cops said we could have died in out sleep without even knowing it,” said Ellis.
Part of the home’s roof has collapsed and one room was completely gutted by the flames.
There’s no word on what sparked the fire but Wakeleyn and his girlfriend suspect it was a lit cigarette. Fire investigators told CBS4 News they’re still looking into the cause of the fire but there were no obvious signs that a cigarette sparked it. The landlord was transferred to a burn unit, there’s no word on his condition.