MIAMI (WSVN) – An elderly man has died after a fire broke out at a home in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood.
The fire broke out at a home along Southwest Fourth Street and 23rd Avenue, just after 2 a.m., Friday.
“Very sad,” said neighbor Alicia Godoy-Giro. “I’m, like, in shock. I can’t believe it.”
Video from a nearby surveillance camera captured flames appearing to engulf the home, as smoke and ash billowed into the air.
City of Miami Fire Rescue units arrived to find heavy smoke and flames coming from the back of the residence.
“I heard a voice from a man saying, ‘Run! Get out! There’s a house on fire,’” said area resident Josefina Lebro through a translator. “I saw the flames growing.”
Firefighters rescued 81-year-old Angel Montero from the burning home as they fought the flames.
“The fire and conditions were very intense,” said City of Miami Fire Rescue Lt. Pete Sanchez. “The fire was under control in about 10 minutes.”
Montero was transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center in critical condition where he succumbed to his injuries.
Maria Pizcoya responded to the scene and told 7News she was Montero’s caretaker.
She also said Montero had recently lost his wife and that it was his routine to light a candle at night, but he was always safe.
“Not too long ago, his wife passed away, and now him,” she said. “I never thought this could happen like this. It could have been a kitchen fire. I doubt it was a candle.”
Godoy-Giro said she has known Montero for decades and described him as a kind and welcoming person.
“He was a wonderful, wonderful neighbor for over 50 years,” she said.
7News captured the charred remains of the back of the home that was left behind by the blaze.
Crews were able to put out the flames in about 10 minutes.
A firefighter was also taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation. He has since been discharged and is doing better.
Fire officials have deemed the home unsafe.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
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