Family cat dies in Miami Gardens house fire

Woman tried to run back inside burning house for cat

A family escapes a Miami Gardens house fire, but the family's cat isn't so lucky.
A family escapes a Miami Gardens house fire, but the family's cat isn't so lucky.

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – A Miami Gardens family safely escaped a house fire Sunday, although the cat died.

Christina Slater was getting ready to spend Father's Day cooking the afternoon away with her family at their Miami Gardens home near Northwest 179th Terrace and 24th Avenue.

"My father turned on a propane tank like we always do," said Slater.

Only this time, something went really wrong.

"A small fire broke out," said Slater. "You could see the gas in the air and the fire was just going up with the gas."

She said they didn't know what to do to stop the fast moving flames from growing and spreading.

"The whole patio was gone in a matter of seconds. It just blew up!" said Slater.

 She and her family were still inside.

 "We were trying to get my grandfather out when it first got in the house and two men came because I couldn't get him out with the wheelchair," said Slater.

Arthur Davis was one of the neighbors who helped.

"I went to run there to the back room and, luckily, there was some guy wheeling the grandfather out, so all I did was assist with getting the grandfather out," said Davis.

Even though everyone got out safely, Slater tried to run past the smoke and flames for her cat who was in the bedroom in the back of the house.

"She snatched away from me and went to run back to get the cat," said Davis. "I grabbed her and I said no. I had to grab her and restrain her."

Slater said the smoke was "just so bad."

She said even more heartbreaking than losing all of her belongings in the fire, was finding out that Smoky didn't make it.

"Smoky was about 12 years old," Slater said with tears in her eyes.