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Retired Miami firefighter dies in Cooper City house fire

Sun Sentinel logoSun Sentinel 7/12/2020 By Phillip Valys, South Florida Sun Sentinel
a fire truck parked in the grass: A video screengrab taken Sunday afternoon by the Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue shows crews running fire hoses into a single-family home in Cooper City where a retired City of Miami firefighter died. © Broward Sheriffs Office / Courtesy/South Florida Sun Sentinel/TNS A video screengrab taken Sunday afternoon by the Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue shows crews running fire hoses into a single-family home in Cooper City where a retired City of Miami firefighter died.

A retired City of Miami firefighter died in single-family house fire that broke out about 1:45 p.m. Sunday in Cooper City, authorities said.

When Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue arrived at the home in the 9400 block of Southwest 53rd Street, it was engulfed in gray smoke and flames, Fire Chief Michael Kane said.

A neighbor managed to pull the man from the burning house and cover him with a tarp before Fire Rescue arrived, Kane said. Fire Rescue pronounced him dead at the scene.

The man, whose name was not released, was thought to be in his late 70s or early 80s and had been retired from firefighting for many years, Kane said.

“It pulls on your heartstrings, because he fell victim to a fire, the same thing he’s been fighting for his entire career,” Kane said. “Learning that in this particular case the victim is a member of the public-safety community ... makes the pain all the more personal and palpable.”

About 30 firefighters responded to the house fire, which appeared to start in the living room, according to a news release from Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue. Firefighters put out the blaze within 20 minutes.

A video posted on the Sheriff Office’s Twitter page at 2:43 p.m. shows Fire Rescue crews running fire hoses into the single-family home, which still appeared intact.

Details remain unclear about the cause of death, what caused the fire or the exact age of the retired firefighter. It was also unclear how many people were in the house at the time, Kane said.

“This is the embryonic stage of the investigation,” Kane said. “All I can say is there’s not a lot of fire damage and mostly smoke damage to the structure.”

The single-family home is located in Cooper City’s Summertime Isles neighborhood near Palm Avenue and Stirling Road.

A state fire marshal was investigating, Kane said.

This is a developing story, so check back for updates. Click here to have breaking news alerts sent directly to your inbox.

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