3 people, including 99-year-old woman, displaced after house fire

Family safely escapes from southwest Miami-Dade County home

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A 99-year-old woman and a couple in their 80s escaped after their house caught fire late Thursday in southwest Miami-Dade County.

The fire started just before midnight inside the home on Southwest 29th Street, which was built in 1950.

Cellphone video from a neighbor showed firefighters trying to douse the flames with water.

Marilyn Montoto said she lives at the home with her parents and her 99-year-old grandmother.

"I got a phone call when I was five minutes away from here, and my mother told me there was a little bit of smoke coming out of the breaker, but she didn't realize -- she had smelled the smoke by then, but she didn't realize how bad it had gotten," Montoto said. "Very soon after that, the breaker exploded and pretty much blew the utility room out."

Montoto said the house was engulfed in flames when she arrived. 

"It exploded pretty quickly, so everybody saw it go off," she said.

Montoto said neighbors called 911 right away.

Everyone made it out safely, but the inside of the home was a charred mess.

"I was really concerned because I have six cats, and one of my friends salvaged one of my indoor cats. The rest, luckily, are outside, safe," Montoto said. "Unfortunately, this happened on my dad's birthday, so I'm pretty bummed about that."

The American Red Cross is providing assistance to the family.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, however the family believes there was likely some sort of electrical issue. 


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