Four people escaped a raging fire that destroyed a Fort Lauderdale house and filled the surrounding neighborhood with smoke for over an hour.
The flames started a little before 7:30 a.m. Friday in a single family home in the 1300 block of Northwest 15th Terrace, said Battalion Chief Stephen Shaw.
“[We] attacked right away, knocked the bulk of the fire down but found multiple issues with structural integrity with pieces of the ceiling and roof already caving in which caused [firefighters] to stay outside,” he said.
Neighbor Jeff Lawson, 50, smelled the smoke when he came out of his house to turn on the lawn sprinklers.
“I came around the corner and we saw the fire everywhere,” he said. “The lady tried to go back in there to get the keys to the van but [she] pulled out and [fire] rescue came and put water on it.”
A white Chevrolet van was parked in the driveway on the north side of the house and the back half was burned. A silver Toyota Highlander SUV was parked on the west side of the house and the front end appeared to have some damage.
The home’s occupants, sitting in white plastic lawn chairs, could only watch from across the street as firefighters sprayed water and foam on the destroyed single-family residence.
“No injuries to any civilians and no injuries to any firefighters,” Shaw said. “The cause of the fire is under investigation.”
The Red Cross was helping the residents find temporary accommodations.