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Man takes dog for a walk, returns to house engulfed in inferno

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A man who took his dog out for a walk around the block Saturday night returned home moments later to a raging inferno with flames of up to 30 feet bursting through his roof.

The fire was so bad, it destroyed the home. "There's no positive to this,” said homeowner Dave Rudra, who watched his home of 10 years go up in flames. “I don't know what's going on."


Police and fire arson investigators spent the day Sunday sifting through the house, looking for evidence to help them identify what caused the fire. Chief Jorge Mara, with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, said the fire had been so large, firefighters needed to make sure it didn’t spread to other homes. 

“There was such heavy flames involved, they felt it was too dangerous for guys to go in and make an initial interior attack so they decided to go to a defensive mode and protect the houses on either side," Mara said.

Sunday afternoon, Rudra returned to the home and spoke to investigators. He wanted to see whether he can salvage anything inside the home, including pictures of his three children.

"The only thing that I really care about is my children's pictures and the videotapes,” he said. “Everything else can be replaced, and that's all I want."

He said the fire left him with nothing but the pants he wore. "They've already torn it down with tractors and everything,” he said. “So even if there was anything left, it's all debris now.”

As Sunday's daylight disappeared and with damage and debris still left to sift through, fire investigators said they planned to return to the destroyed property Monday.