MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A family of five was displaced from their home in southwest Miami-Dade after it caught fire late Monday night.
Four vehicles parked in the driveway were also damaged in the blaze.
Gladys Bou Nassar told Local 10 News that she and her husband have rented the home for two years.
She said she was sleeping before realizing the house was on fire.
According to Bou Nassar, a locked metal gate was blocking the exit and she couldn’t find the key amidst the chaos.
She said a police officer kicked down the side door so the family could escape.
A neighbor told Local 10 News that smoke was everywhere when she came outside Monday night.
“A big fire (was) coming out from the garage, about 11 p.m. That’s the only (thing) I see. And about one hour (later), something exploded inside the house,” the neighbor said.
“I was getting ready to go to bed and I heard this popping sound. It sounded like fireworks,” Rick Fong-Yee, who lives in the neighborhood, said. “So I looked through my window and I saw all these flames and so I called 911, but the operator said somebody called already.”
It’s unclear what started the fire at the house on Southwest 109th Street near 141st Avenue, but Bou Nassar said the fire marshal told her he thinks an ATV battery exploded in the garage and started the fire.
A Dodge sedan, Cadillac SUV, Chevrolet Trax and Mitsubishi Lancer were damaged in the fire.
“The firefighters (were) everywhere and the police officers (were) everywhere. That’s the only thing we saw,” the unidentified neighbor said.
Thankfully, the family and their two dogs were not injured.
The Red Cross offered to help the family find a temporary place to live until they can get back on their feet, but Bou Nassar said they are staying with a relative for the time being.
“I hope they get through this. This time -- with all this virus epidemic -- it’s hard,” Fong-Yee said.
Bou Nassar said she has a lot of fond memories from the home, but while it’s an unfortunate situation, she’s just glad that she and her family are safe.
Investigators are working to determine the official cause of the fire.