MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Hialeah man is dead in what police are calling a domestic-related arson case.
Fire crews responded to an apartment complex fire on W 44th Terrance near 14th Street on New Year's Day around noon.
When they were putting out the fire, they found a man's body inside.
Preliminary investigations indicate the man set the apartment on fire before taking his own life. Hialeah Police have not released any other details and are still investigating.
"I just heard the fire rescue right there and then they moved on down," said Dorothy Norwood. "I seen the back of a truck just burning and burning."
Fire officials say there were multiple fires burning inside and outside the apartment when they arrived on scene. They put them out quickly.
"What a crazy way to start the New Year," said Adela Delahoz, who lives five doors down and was evacuated with the rest of her neighbors.
Delahoz believes a small family lived inside the home.
"They were a pretty nice family," said Delahoz. "They got along with everyone."
Norwood lives in the building next door but stood outside to watch along with many others in the area. When she heard about a death, she was saddened.
"I feel bad about that," said Norwood. "Especially the new year. I don't feel good about that at all."
Delahoz added that her family heard what sounded like an explosion. Police have not said what the exact cause of death was.
Bomb squad units and the Florida State Fire Marshal were also on scene.
"Everybody just freaked out," said Delahoz, adding that the complex is made of wood and connected, so they were concerned the fire would spread from attic to attic.
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