“I could barely see the house,” Miami Springs officer Jimmy Pessolano said when he responded to a house fire call at 1190 Meadowlark Ave. last Monday afternoon, June 17. “Smoke was coming from under the eaves and every crack and crevice. Flames were shooting about 20 feet above the roof.”
Pessolano said it took him about three minutes to get to the house and he was followed closely by fire trucks and almost every officer in the city. Police blocked off several intersections to make sure other firefighting equipment could access the house. At one point, six Miami-Dade Fire emergency vehicles were on the scene, including a Haz-Mat truck from the airport.
Firefighters quickly entered the house through the front and back doors and determined that it was unoccupied. However, after the fire was extinguished, firefighters learned that two dogs had died in a rear efficiency.
When smoke was seen coming from the house about 1:30 p.m. on Monday, several people called authorities.
One was Haydee Brodhead, who lives down the block and drove by the house when she was returning from shopping.
“I saw all the smoke and no one was around and it was scary. So I called Miami Springs Police directly,” she said.
Homeowner Iris Lugo arrived back to her fire-damaged home while smoke was still billowing from the eaves. She told police she hadn’t been feeling well and had been gone for about an hour to get medication. Unfortunately, she inadvertently left food frying on the stove.
A fire official said interior damage was extensive and the kitchen was completely destroyed by the fire, which eventually shot through the roof.
“The house is totally uninhabitable,” he added.