2 dogs dead, family displaced after Miami-Dade house fire

Investigators believe fire started on Christmas tree

By Tim Swift - Local10.com Digital Editor, Madeleine Wright - Reporter

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - Two dogs were killed and a family was left homeless after a fire broke out early Sunday in a gated community in northwest Miami-Dade County, authorities said.

Battalion Chief Raied Jadallah, a spokesman for Miami-Dade County Fire Rescue, said the fire started around 3:30 a.m. at a large home along East Saint Andrews Drive.

Alerted by a smoke detector, the family narrowly escaped the blaze, which took about an hour and a half to extinguish, Jadallah said. Investigators believe an electrical short, possibly from stringed lights, occurred near a Christmas tree, sparking the fire.

"At this point, many of the Christmas trees are probably dry. We do recommend that the trees be taken down and discarded in the front or taken to the local trash centers," Jadallah said.

One person was treated for smoke inhalation at the scene. Red Cross South Florida is helping the family find temporary housing.

The family said they're grateful two of their four dogs escaped safely.

Neighbor Mery Saad brought the family towels and hot chocolate as a show of support.

"They’re very sad because of the two dogs. I told them, they have to calm down because everybody is alive and God know why those two dogs were killed," Saad said.

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