HIALEAH, Fla. – Several families were displaced Thursday morning after a fire broke out at a motel in Hialeah.
A woman staying in the room where the fire started sent her kids down to alert management while she banged on doors to other rooms, trying to make sure everyone got out OK.
"The windows started breaking, and that was scary," Alexia Marais, 12, said.
Alexia captured video on her cellphone that showed smoke billowing out of the Hialeah Executive Motel moments after a fire broke out in the room where she, her brother and mother were sleeping.
"Everything just went up in flames, so I started banging on the neighbors' doors and tried to evacuate as much people as possible," Priscilla Isaacs said.
The family checked in Wednesday night and had turned on the heat before going to bed.
They smelled smoke when they woke up Thursday morning and then saw a wire on the A/C unit spark.
"There was a man sitting out here just in his T-shirt, and we're all freezing, but just in a shirt, and that young lady walked over and gave me a pair of socks, so it was still nice to see that people are helping each other in a time like this," another guest, Leslie Garner, said.
While they and many others were at the motel for a temporary stay, a woman, identified only as Gertrude, was staying at the motel long-term with her five children.
They are now homeless and have lost what little they still had.
"When I opened the door, there was fire everywhere," Gertrude said. "So when I woke up -- I have five kids -- and so once I had woke them up, the fire was in front of our door, so we had to crawl out.
"It was very scary. I mean, we left everything. We don't have nothing."
Several people were displaced by the fire and are now trying to move to rooms that were not damaged.
The Red Cross will help those in need of their services.