Angelique Vargas says she was asleep when her 19-year-old son Daniel yelled that there was a fire.
"I thought it was a kitchen fire and told him to grab the extinguisher. But he said no, we have to get out."
When Vargas walked out of her room, she saw what was happening.
"As soon as I come out, the glass doors busted in. The house got really black and we had to fly out. We didn't have time to get anything," Vargas said.
She said she couldn't breathe.
"At least we're all alive. Because the way that went, had I not woken up, I wouldn't be here right now," Vargas said.
Just down stairs and two doors down, the smoke started billowing in the apartment. Jhon Medina and his wife were both at work, but their one-year-old mixed breed dog Simon sat trapped in his crate.
"My brother called me, man your house is on fire and the dog is in there. I was so worried. He's my life," Medina said.
Once they got the fire under control, the firefighters went in to get Simon. Outside, they put a rescue mask on Simon, letting him breathe in clean oxygen.
"I think he was really strong because he's okay," said Medina.
He shook the rescuers' hands, thanking them for saving the dog.
But there are a lot of questions from renters. Another fire broke out here on February 9th. Hillsborough Fire Rescue says it was an electrical short in an outlet on an exterior wall on the porch.
Zack Buendia lost everything in that first fire. He was worried about the age of the apartments.
"We moved out just for that reason, as we obviously didn't want to be here. Just in case it happened again," he said.
And now another fire -- investigators still haven't determined what caused this one. But Angelique says the fire started on her porch too.
Now she is left with nothing. She says the apartment complex put her up in another apartment, but it isn't furnished. She says the Red Cross gave her $100, but they want to put her and other families in a shelter at a local church.
Angelique says she can't put her family in a shelter with others she doesn't even know.
She has no idea where she goes from here.
"I don't know. I guess, start over, little by little. How do you start over. I don't even know. We work hard all our life for what little bit we have and then I have no idea," she said.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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