Five People Escape Florida House Fire


A fire in Lake County sent five people running from their home early Wednesday morning. Three adults and two children were inside the house in Clermont when the fire started and one woman was slightly injured.

Even with a hydrant on the property, there was little firefighters could do to save the home. By the time they arrived, 75 percent of the house was destroyed. Investigators said the cause was electrical.

"I was sleeping. I heard an explosion. TV fell on my legs," said victim Salaam Payton.

The fire started around 2:00am Wednesday. Payton, 19, was inside with two other adults and two children.

"I went out to see what was going on. Everyone was screaming, 'Help, help!'" he said.

The homeowner was in a linens closet located in the master bedroom. She was using a fire extinguisher, but the flames quickly got out of control.

"The fire initially started there above the door as you go into the closet and got into the attic and traveling through attic area," said Lt. Michael Cordle, Lake County Fire Rescue.

All five occupants ran out of the house. They banged on the neighbor's door to warn him about the fast moving flames.

"I saw the fire. I tried to help. The house was destroyed," said neighbor Edgar Araya.

Several hours after the roof caved in, relatives removed just one thing from a large pile of debris, a child's ashes.

The displaced residents said they will be staying with friends and family.

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