House fire displaces family days after Christmas
LAUDERHILL, Fla. (WSVN) -- A South Florida family is homeless after their house caught on fire.
"The flames just spread so quick," said Anthony Joseph. "I tried to put it out, but I was overcome by the flames."
The fire broke out at about after midnight Thursday at the home along Northwest 51st Street and 82nd Terrace. Joseph woke up to the smell of smoke and fire in his house. He went upstairs to his son's room and found it engulfed in flames. "I tried to put it out, but it spread so quick that I had to abandon and run outside and save myself," said Joseph.
Mary Gates lives next door to the Joseph family and feared her home would catch fire as well. "It's devastating," she said. "I mean, I was afraid really that my house was going to go up next because the flames are right next to my garage."
Joseph's two adult sons and nephew were out getting something to eat when the fire erupted. That is when they received a call to return home. "We had to come back over here, and it was just on fire," said Darius Guerin. "We tried to put it out with buckets of water, but it wasn't enough."
Shonari Joseph, one of the sons, said, "We went inside, and the smoke just hits us. We could barely go in, so we just ran back out, and we broke the window and took the hose and tried as much... and then the water cut off."
The younger Joseph said they beat firefighters to their house, who took nearly a half an hour to arrive on the scene, he said. "And we're just waiting out here. The fire trucks took at least 25 minutes to come and help us."
Lauderhill Fire Rescue, however, said they responded six minutes after receiving a 911 call, at 12:39 in the morning. They said the fire was fast-moving. The home suffered extensive damage, and has been left a complete ruin.
The family said they have other family members they can stay with for the time being.
Firefighters are still investigating and trying to determine what caused this fire.
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