People trapped on balconies after fire sparks at Lauderhill apartment building

1 taken to Plantation General Hospital

LAUDERHILL, Fla. – People were trapped on their balconies Monday after a fire broke out at an apartment building in Lauderhill, authorities said.

The fire was reported shortly before noon at 2551 NW 41st Ave.

"It was fully engulfed. Nothing but flames. That's all you saw was flames and black smoke," witness Maria Dawkins said. 

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Dawkins and her husband, Rovan, just happened to be driving by when they spotted the fire pouring out of the roof of the apartment building.

That's when Rovan Dawkins ran inside to warn the residents.

"This lady, I'm knocking on her window to tell her (that) her place was on fire, and she looked scared like she didn't believe me, so I had to break the window to let her know I'm serious," he said.

Sky 10 was above the scene as firefighters used ladder trucks to rescue people from the balconies.

It took firefighters a little less than an hour to extinguish the flames.

A Lauderhill Fire Rescue representative said a pregnant woman was treated for smoke inhalation and was taken to Plantation General Hospital.

"There was one female at the apartment at the time the fire started. She said that she just smelled smoke and she ran out," Capt. Jerry Gonzalez said.

At least one fourth-floor apartment unit appeared to be destroyed in the fire. Dozens of other units sustained smoke or water damage.

At least 19 families were in need of assistance Monday night as a result of the fire. 

"I'm lucky because I got out," Mathilda Robinson said. "You know, maybe God was with me, that's why I wake up from that." 

Anyone who wants to help the families affected by the fire can contact do so by contacting the American Red Cross




About the Authors:

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for

Terrell Forney joined Local 10 News in October 2005 as a general assignment reporter. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, but a desire to escape the harsh winters of the north brought him to South Florida.