DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — A fire in Durham left two people without a home on Christmas Day.
The Durham Fire Department says the fire started around 5:45 a.m. Friday.
Alex Rodriguez lives next door to the home that caught fire. This Christmas he’s counting his blessings.
“If our houses would’ve been closer or the wind was stronger, our house probably would’ve caught on fire,” said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez says he was fast asleep in his bed the morning of Christmas Eve when, suddenly, he heard his neighbors outside his window.
“Pulled the blinds up to put some clothes on and I see this big fire,” he said.
The house right next door to him was in flames.
“I get the whole family out and by the time I came out the flames were already over the house,” Rodriguez said.
Liz Colmenares was also asleep moments before she saw the fire. She says she heard her neighbors screaming from across the street.
“I am a light sleeper basically, so I just heard loud noises outside,” said Colmenares. “I looked out the window and I just see the back of the house is on fire.”
She rushed into action and called her dad, Reyes, for help.
“I went running and as soon as I get there the person, the lady started yelling very hard. One of them is like ‘please I need a ladder, I need a ladder,’ so I remembered I had one,” said dad Reyes Colmenares.
The Colmenares family was able to get their neighbors to safety but the house was destroyed in the inferno.
The Durham Fire Department says it took about 20 minutes to get the fire under control.
“It kinda blows your mind because they’re one of your neighbors and it kinda blows your mind even more that it’s right next door,” said Rodriguez.
The side of his home is partially melted. He told CBS 17 that he’ll have to do some costly repairs, but he’s not complaining.
“I’m thankful that my neighbors didn’t get hurt, that we didn’t get hurt,” Rodriguez said.
It took 41 firefighters to put the fire out. Right now, the cause of the fire remains under investigation.