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Opa-locka apartment catches fire

Multiple units damaged; single mother of 3 loses everything before Christmas

OPA-LOCKA, Fla. – Up to 50 firefighters rushed to put out a fire Wednesday afternoon at an apartment building in Opa-locka.

Sky 10 was above the building at 2407 NW 135th St. at 3:20 p.m. as Miami-Dade firefighters worked to extinguish the flames.

Authorities said the fire started on the top floor of the three-story building, and the residents inside the unit had evacuated before they arrived.

"I heard like a small explosion, but it was the window that cracked," Oscar Marin, who lives in the building, said. 'When I went outside, I saw that it was serious. The third floor of the building was on fire."

It took firefighters about half an hour to extinguish the flames. Seven units were damaged and it's unclear when the residents will be allowed back inside.

Raqueise Baker told Local 10 News her three young kids couldn't believe it.

"Somebody text me from downstairs and said, "Your daughter's apartment is on fire. I said, 'What?'" Erma Baker said.

No injuries were reported, and firefighters rescued a rabbit belonging to Raqueise Baker's 12-year-old girl.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

More than 100 residents were displaced from the same building in March after another fire broke out, damaging 20 units.

Battalion Chief Vince Lombardi said his heart goes out to all the families affected.

"It really makes things worse when it's around the holidays, but anytime this happens it's devastating," Lombardi said. "It's just fortunate that we were able to extinguish the fire quickly and limit the amount of damage to the building."

For this to happen again before Christmas, Baker said it is no doubt frustrating, but bottomline, her family is safe.

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