By Peter D'Oench

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Dozens of people lost almost everything when a condominium complex went up in flames Wednesday night in Cutler Bay.

One victim of that blaze tells CBS4 that he survived a close call and remembered fellow residents screaming “Fire, Fire.”

Nearly 60 people were left homeless after the fire erupted around 7 p.m. at the Le Club Apartments At Saga Bay, at SW 212th Street and 86th Avenue.

Esperanza Dominguez, who is now homeless after the fire, said she was at work and she was worried about her son who was at home.

“I was working and they told me and I felt bad because of the images. The damage was bad. It was terrible. I was worried about my son and if anything would happen to him,” she said.

The fire appears to have started in the roof of the building where electrical work and repairs were being done.

 

Arriving fire crews found flames shooting the roof of the building.

“It was really, really, really dangerous, a real dangerous situation, a big, big high risk, really. The fire was a big fire, the flames going up really really high,” said Chad Geanpirre.

“There was a lot of fire on the roof. From what I understand it was the boarders and roofers were working on that particular roof. It was bad, a lot of fire, but the structure was intact and it basically hid the wood frame,” said Sam Nodsl.

Due to the intensity of the fire, a total of 26 crews were called out to battle the blaze. A number of other units were placed on stand-by.

“The truck companies had a tough time getting water on the fire, we had two tower ladders operating,” said Manuelo Jimenez, with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.

“It took our aerial apparatus, our ladder trucks to get above the fire and make an aggressive-defensive attack to combat the fire,” said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Lt. Kirsten Miller.

Thankfully, no injuries were reported.

“The fire detection systems, the smoke alarms notified all the people and all the residents were out on our arrival,” said Miller.

Resident Densiell Hernandez said they had to evacuate quickly.

“I was just home studying and someone came to my house and screamed fire, fire, and everyone ran out of the apartments. Every neighbor on the first floor said look at this fire.”

Both he and his mother are homeless.

Hernandez told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench “I don’t know how to describe it. It was really bad.”

“We are going to a family member’s house. In times like this everyone offers you a bed or a place for you to stay. You don’t know what to do. You still think about what could have happened. Thank God everybody was able to get out of the building but we are still dealing with the situation,” he added.

Twenty four units were destroyed or severely damaged. The Red Cross is trying to help those left homeless.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue says the cause of the blaze has not been determined.

Peter D'Oench

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