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One Person Dead After Apartment Building Goes Up In Flames

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) - One person is dead after a Miami home which contained multiple separate units caught on fire Friday afternoon.

The flames broke out at around 4 p.m. at the home along NW 7 Avenue near NW 1 Street.

"I lost everything," property manager Mayra Figueroa cried as firefighters tried to extinguish the fire at the two-story building. "The house was on fire so we all started running. All my property, everything is inside."

Neighbors in the area were kept out of their homes for hours as fire crews blocked off the streets and battles through thick smoke.

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Charquisha Dicks lives across the street.

She says she heard explosions and called 911.

"Before I could even get over there the fire had already made it to the front of the house," Dicks told CBS4'a Lauren Pastana. "Literally tearing everything down. And you see people running from upstairs to downstairs."

Bryce Smith was one of about a dozen people who lived in the home that had been converted to a multi-tenant dwelling.

"I lost everything I own," Smith said. "Other than my backpack and a change of clothes. I don't even have shoes right now."

Marta Quesada held tightly to a receipt for $460. She says it was her rent check, paid just hours before the fire started.

"I don't have nobody, no family, only me," Quesada said through tears.

She said she moved in to the home just two months ago following her husband's death.

Quesada says she tried to pull her neighbor to safety, but couldn't breathe through the smoke.

"He was saying 'help, help' and I said 'come on'," she explained while showing how she was dragging him.

Even firefighters had to retreat at one point when the roof started to collapse.

"We had to cut fences, cut trees, and find a way to fight this fire from all sides," Miami Fire Rescue Captain Ignatius Carroll said.

Red Cross was on scene to help the displaced residents, and a Miami police officer bought them pizzas for dinner.

The small act of kindness brought hope at the end of a devastating day.

"I don't know what happened. Oh my God. It's so sad," Figueroa said.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Miami Fire Rescue planned to leave an engine on scene overnight to monitor any possible hotspots.

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