HIALEAH (CBS4) – Hialeah Fire Rescue suspect the act of lighting a lit cigarette may have sparked an early morning warehouse fire.
Hialeah Fire Rescue spokesperson Lt. Cesar Espinosa said a 49-year old man was the only person inside the warehouse unit in the 36 hundred block of East 10th Court. The man was reportedly working overnight building cabinetry when, according to Espinosa he went to light a cigarette just before 5 a.m. and there was an explosion.
Hialeah firefighters found canisters of propane gas were in the warehouse and the spark may have set off a gas leak. Espinosa said firefighters were not able to go into the warehouse to fight the flames because the intensity of the fire had compromised the front wall.
The man was taken to the Ryder Trauma center with burns over 16 percent of his body including his face, arms and hands. He’s currently listed in stable condition.
Ed Garcell rented the space to the victim who was unemployed.
“He’s been out of work about six to eight months,” Garcell said. “I guess that’s when, about a month ago, he moved in there. He’s been staying, coming and going.”
Other businesses in the area were temporarily shut down until it was deemed safe to re-enter the facilities.
“It was nerve wracking cause we got the call about 5:30 a.m. that there was a fire and we were running over here expecting to see our place in flames,” Garcell said.