Family loses home in Miramar fire and hopes to find cat that fled

The Miramar house fire left 20+ years of belongings unrecognizably charred, and the family's pet cat has gone missing after initially being rescued.

MIRAMAR, Fla. – A devastating fire has made a Miramar house uninhabitable, leaving behind smoke and water damage and charring belongings that are now unrecognizable.

The Lawton family is now staying at a hotel, with 20+ years worth of furniture, mementos and possessions gone.

“I was panicking a little bit, but I knew how to keep my composure to get out of there safe,” said Jordan Lawton, 21.

He was the only one home Sunday afternoon when the fire started. His parents and sister were out. He said he smelled smoke and ran to see where it was coming from.

“I went by the garage door, I saw the smoke, I saw the fire,” he said.

Lawton grabbed the family’s cat Cocoa and ran outside to call for help. Unfortunately, in the process, Cocoa got spooked and ran off. The Lawtons believe their beloved pet is somewhere in the neighborhood and hope he comes back.

“This is not real, this is not happening to me,” Jordan’s mother Jamear Lawton said.

She had been at her neighborhood Walmart for 15 minutes when her son called her to tell her what happened.

While Miramar fire rescue crews say the blaze remains under investigation, Jamear Lawton says her dryer was to blame and that it was serviced only five months ago. She wants everyone to be aware of their appliances.

“I checked the dryer, I cleaned the vent, it still caught on fire,” she said. “Don’t have your dryer running at night when you are sleeping, don’t put it on when you are leaving for work or go to the Walmart like I did. Something can happen, like what it did with me.”

Fire crews were able to save the family’s pet hamster and the Red Cross is assisting as the Lawtons temporarily stay in a hotel.

Jamear Lawton said she is fortunate her son Jordan is OK.

“A lot of years, memories, but nothing that can’t be replaced,” she said of the home’s damage. “I can’t replace my son.”

The family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for housing and food and to spread the word about their missing cat. Click here to access it.

About the Author:

Sanela Sabovic joined Local 10 News in September 2012 as an assignment editor and associate producer. In August 2015, she became a full-time reporter and fill-in traffic reporter. Sanela holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications with a concentration in radio, television and film from DePaul University.