LAUDERHILL (CBSMiami) – The cleanup is underway at the West Lake Apartments after a fire damaged four units early Wednesday morning.

Investigators say they have reason to believe the fire was no accident.

“All I could hear was that ‘fire, fire’,” said Cissey Francis who lives in the complex. “I look through my window and my daughter said ‘oh police also’.”

Francis lives on the other side of the unit where the fire broke out. A neighbor woke her up overnight, banging on her door and telling her and everyone else to get out.

“At first I was panicked about it. Everybody ran out,” she said. “We were all over there standing.”

The Lauderhill Fire Department received a call about the fire around 2 a.m.

No one was in the apartment at the time of the fire, and no one was hurt, but plenty of smoke damage was left behind with black streaks staining the doorframe and windows. Crime scene tape blocks off the entrance.

“Well there was a lot of smoke coming from that building,” Francis explains. “At one point we thought that somebody was in there, but I was told by a gentleman that the two young ladies, they run.”

Neighbors say two women live in the apartment. Police responded to a domestic disturbance call at the same apartment Tuesday, but no one was injured.

Hours later, the fire happened.

Investigators have not figured out the exact cause of the fire, but they are calling it suspicious.

The Lauderhill Fire Department, Police Department, and State Fire Marshal are all investigating.

Karli Barnett

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