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Unoccupied Building Fire Causes Apartment Evacuation

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Fire burns in abandoned building in Miami on Jan. 14, 2010. (Photo Credit: City of Miami Fire Dept.)

Fire burns in abandoned building in Miami on Jan. 14, 2010. (Photo Credit: City of Miami Fire Dept.)

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MIAMI (CBS4) — Miami firefighters were busy early Friday morning putting out a blaze burning in an unoccupied two-story building.

The building, located 413 NW 3rd Street, burned for more than an hour.

When firefighters arrived, the top floor of the building was fully engulfed in flames. They had to use one of their ladder trucks to spray water on the roof which did collapse.

Click here to see Web Video Extra of the fire shot by the Miami Fire Department.

The biggest concern for firefighters, however, was the people who live next door. Firefighters went door-to-door waking those people up and asked them to evacuate as a precautionary measure.

About 40 residents were asked to leave temporarily.

“I saw out the window the crackling of the fire out the back porch and I had called 911. When I looked out the back window I saw the flames were even higher,” explained Vivien Curras who lives in the building next door and was awakened by someone banging on her door.

Firefighters blanketed the apartment building with a wall of water to form a protective barrier.

“There was some smoke and water damage but we were able to save the building,” said Lt. Ignacious Carroll with Miami Fire Rescue.

It took firefighters about an hour to bring the blaze under control.

The fire left behind a burned out shell and the frayed nerves of the people who live next door.

“It was very, very scary,” said Curras.

The fire happened in the Lummus Park Historic District, a neighborhood founded more than a century ago. Across the street is Miami’s Lummus Park, home to two of South Florida’s oldest buildings, the Fort Dallas Army Barracks and the Wagner House.

Nobody was hurt and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

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