Allapattah Woman's Home Destroyed by Fire

Investigators are looking into whether the fire at Tossie Crowder's house might have been arson

Tossie Crowder is trying to figure out what started the fire that destroyed the Allapattah home where she lives with her 17-year-old nephew.

Crowder says her electricity was cut off Thursday morning. She left to take care of it and wasn't gone for long.

"I was on my way to pay my light bill and while I was on my way there they called and told me that my house was on fire! And I turned around and came back," Crowder said.

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Investigators with the city of Miami fire department are looking into whether the fire at her home at Northwest 40th Street and 11th Avenue might have been arson, because no appliances could have been on.

"When FPL responded out here there was no power to the building, so that right there has investigators looking more closely into, okay there has to be some other causes that may have caused this fire,” Miami Fire-Rescue spokesman Lt. Ignatius Carroll said.

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Crowder, an Army veteran, works as a chef at the convention center and local hotels. Her home was also broken into last year.

She said she was sad to have worked so hard, and then, as she put it, “pretty much watch yourself lose everything.”

She has had custody of her nephew for nine years and is grateful he was at school.

"I can pretty much salvage a little bit of my stuff, but he lost everything, my boy lost everything," Crowder said.

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The Red Cross is putting them up at a nearby hotel. Crowder will now have to find a new place to live.

"Now I just start over,” she said. “Like I say, I just thank God that we weren't here.”

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