LAWRENCE (CBS) — Six people were forced out of their home after a fire spread from a Lawrence auto garage to three other buildings Monday morning.
Some people were still asleep when the fire that broke out shortly after 9:30 a.m. on Oxford Street, destroyed the garage and also severely damaged a duplex home behind the garage.
However, 11-year-old Rebecca Mendez helped those people get out safely by sounding the warning.
“I was like ‘Get out because there’s like smoke,'” Mendez said. “I woke up and I saw some smoke passing through my window.”
“Some smoke came in through my air conditioning and I was scared,” Mendez said.
Neighbor Mary Ledger caught the fire on video with her cell phone.
“I saw the first flames I said, ‘O my God, it’s gonna spread, it’s gonna spread,” Ledger said. “It went down the alley and went from the garage to the next garage.”
Mendez’s brother Jefte said it wasn’t like anything he’s seen before, “I’ve seen bonfires and stuff like that, but that was crazy.”
Homeowner Theodore Galva managed to get out of the home with his daughter and some of their pets, including a dog and some birds, but could not find their cat.
“I had to get out of there with our pets,” Galva said. “The cat, we didn’t have enough time because of the smoke.”
Lawrence Fire Chief Brian Moriarty said the fire spread quickly.
“Unfortunately, the two-and-a-half-floor wood frame did suffer some serious damage, they will not be able to live there,” Moriarty said.
No one was hurt, but six people are without a home.
The cause of the fire was not yet known.