David Rodriguez woke up Sunday morning to flames in his backyard.
"It's crazy, the amount of fire that was here," he said.
Rodriguez was home with his wife and son when the fire began at about 2 a.m. near Southwest 18th Avenue.
"We (were) running for our life," he said.
Although the Rodriguez family escaped the fire, along with their four dogs and four lovebirds, the eight cockatiels the family kept in the backyard died.
"They are very special birds. They are a special mutation. It's like $500 each bird," Rodriguez said.
About three homes were damaged as a result of the fire.
"We had a difficult time gaining access to the property, so that delayed our ability to get water onto the fire at that time, but we eventually did," Miami firefighter Erik Pace said.
Rodriguez said he got rid of his homeowners insurance policy two weeks ago because of high rates.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.