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Police Not Ruling Out Arson After Home Destroyed By Fire

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NORTH MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) -- A family was left with nearly nothing but the clothes on their back after flames ripped through a North Miami Beach home early Sunday morning.

The fire seems to have been started outside of the home when an SUV in the driveway suddenly went up in flames.

"We were in my living room. All we heard was a big clap, like that. We looked outside the window and everything was blown up, everything was in flames," said Andrew Cruz.

Those flames quickly spread to the house.

"The tires, they blew up," said Cruz. "That's when we heard the clap and the whole fire went from there."

The home was soon engulfed and destroyed.

Seven people are now displaced, including five children. They all managed to get out safely.

Firefighters were able to save the smallest member of the family, who was initially left behind.

"We were able to remove a dog inside the structure, safely and alive," said Capt. Robert Alicea of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.

The dog was safe, though shaken and scarred. His coat, dirty from the heat and smoke as the kids held him tight; a tiny gift among the devastation.

Firefighters knocked down flames through the attic and got the fire under control.

As police investigate, they said they have not ruled out arson.

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