Family blames nightmarish inferno on FPL crew called to help fix power outage; Miami-Dade firefighters investigate

Micheal Benmeleh’s called Florida Power & Light for help during a power outage in northeastern Miami-Dade County. He never imagined what would happen next. The FPL crew not only didn’t fix the power outage. They created a bigger problem for the Benmeleh family.

An FPL technician showed up at his home on Wednesday evening in the Highland Lakes neighborhood. He said he was going to work in the backyard and was going to come up with a temporary solution. Benmeleh trusted him and walked out about 8 p.m.

His wife and their five children were inside. In the middle of the night, his family had to escape an inferno that left them homeless.

“They are like, ‘We have a fire! You have to get out!’ I pretty much ran upstairs got the baby, ran out barefoot,” Jayme Benmeleh said. “I didn’t realize how bad it was until we were outside and saw it growing and growing.”

The FPL tech told her they tried to extinguish it, but failed, so they called 911. The fire destroyed his home at Northeast 23rd Court and Northeast 211th Street, in a quiet area, just west of the Aventura hospital.

“We are very outraged it was late at night it was dark. It’s crazy.” Everything caught fire in the backyard all the way up our wall.”

The Benmeleh family said they read the story because they want to make sure that this doesn’t happen to anyone else, and while they wait for answers they count their blessings.

“I am so grateful that I came out quick enough with her and I am thankful to God.”

FPL released a statement reading in part, “We are aware of the incident that took place at the customer’s house last week. I can tell you that Florida Power & Light Company takes all claims very seriously and investigates the specifics of each case. “

The Miami-Dade Fire Rescue personnel is still investigating the cause of the fire.

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