Duplex fire leaves family homeless
NORTH LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A family of five is left without a place to call home after flames engulfed their duplex, Thursday morning.
"Everything we owned was in the house," said homeowner Champagne François. "This is all what we got, just my purse and his wallet, and the kids have their bag for school," said Josiane François, Champagne's wife, as she fought back tears.
North Lauderdale firefighters and several surrounding city fire departments responded to the 2-alarm fire, just after 8 a.m., in the 6500 block of Harbour Road in North Lauderdale. Tamarac, Coconut Creek and Margate crews helped fight the massive, fast-moving fire.
Officials said the fire started in the back of the house and quickly spread into the house. "Our first crews that showed up said that the back fence was completely engulfed and most of the house was engulfed within shortly," said City of North Lauderdale spokesperson Jennifer Johnson.
Luckily, no one was home when the blaze broke out on the 6500 block of Harbour Road.
A neighbor first alerted the fire department and then went door to door notifying nearby residents. "I could see the fire flaming up through the windows. I was hoping no one was in the house at the time, so I just ran around and banged on the door and windows to make sure there was no one in there," said Joseph Troutman.
Annette Anderson, who lives next door, described the fierce fire. "It was huge. It was coming through the roof and windows in the back. I heard the banging on the door, and when I rushed to the door, the fire was coming towards me, so I ran out and started grabbing the kids to get them out," she said.
Officials have declared the home uninhabitable.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation. The homeowners are insured.
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