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Dozens rescued from Miami building fire get shelter at Jose Marti Community Center

Displaced apartment fire residents get help
Displaced apartment fire residents get help 02:19

MIAMI - Dozens of mostly elderly residents displaced by a massive apartment fire in Miami arrived Monday afternoon at a community center in Little Havana, at least 20 of them were rescued by firefighters.

More than 35, according to Miami Mayor Francis Suarez will be allowed to stay at the Jose Marti Community Center while the Red Cross finds them a place to stay.

Twenty of the residents have already been picked up by their families.

A large fire at the Temple Court Apartments complex at 431 NW 3rd Street Monday morning displaced more than 40 residents.  

Miami apartment fire contained, investigation to begin 03:35

CBS News Miami's cameras were there as the affected residents stepped off trolleys and were greeted by Suarez and other politicians. 

Residents had been processed earlier, some of whom were still wearing pajamas and some were carrying their pets. 

It's heart-wrenching to hear some lost it all but were able to save their pets.

One resident said, "In the middle of the fire an explosion happened. That's when I really got desperate. I wasn't thinking about getting anything. I was just thinking about getting out of there. That's all I could think of the entire time... was trying to get out. Me, my mom and stepdad just the four of us and my cat, just trying to get out."

More than 40 displaced by massive Miami fire get temporary housing 02:48

They will be staying at the Jose Marti Community Center, located at 434 SW 3rd Avenue.

CBS News Miami heard from someone who said she received a call from her grandmother saying, "Come rescue me, the building is on fire!" 

That woman's granddaughter said, "I was on my way to work this morning and I get a call saying my buildings on fire. Then she goes I'm being brought down by fire rescue through the balcony. So, I literally --  sorry officers --  I flew on the emergency lane, down to see my grandmother... by the time I got down there, sure enough, they were bringing her down in a stretcher. They had brought her down through the balcony, like down a ladder.

If you would like to help the victims of the fire, please click here for Neighbors 4 Neighbors or call the American Red Cross at (305) 644-1200.

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