Bad weather possibly led to house fire in southwest Miami-Dade

Electrical failure believed to have occurred after power came back on

By Madeleine Wright - Reporter

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - A South Florida family is displaced after their home caught fire early Tuesday in southwest Miami-Dade County. 

Everyone was able to escape safely, but four people are displaced and the fire gutted the garage. 

It also caused extensive smoke damage to the house.

Pedro Fernandez, who lives at the home on Southwest 46th Street near Southwest 122nd Avenue, said the fire may be related to Monday night’s storm.

"It's kind of hard. It's kind of stressful," he said. 

Fernandez, who spent years as a firefighter in Okeechobee, now finds himself the victim of a fire.

"I'm a little in shock to be on the other side of the spectrum, to be the one that's affected by it," Fernandez said. 

Fernandez said the flames erupted shortly after his lights turned back on around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday.

He lost power at his house for several hours Monday night as heavy rain led to street flooding and strong winds knocked down trees and utility poles.

The storm also damaged the nets at Top Golf in Doral.

Fernandez said his mother smelled smoke coming from the garage and woke everyone up.

"The chief from Miami-Dade County said that that's a common thing. That's one of their most causes, when powers and storms and all of that stuff come, and when they flip the switch back on, older houses with bad electrical circuits and stuff -- whenever they flip the switch back on, that's when it happens," Fernandez said. 

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Lt. Kirsten Miller said the roof was examined and there’s no evidence that lightning struck the home.

"But there was some kind of electrical failure that was the cause of this fire," she said. 

The American Red Cross is giving the family some money so they can pay for a hotel and get back on their feet.

Fernandez said his family does not have insurance on the home.

"Some people make the mistake to try to save money and cut corners and get out of the insurance, but unfortunately, that was my dad's decision," he said. 

Firefighters recommend that any time electricity is lost to always unplug appliances to reduce electrical surge when the power is restored.

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