W MIAMI-DADE (CBS4) – Fire investigators are trying to determine what sparked a fire which ripped through a west Miami-Dade strip mall.
The fire broke out around 3 a.m. in one of the mall’s stores at SW 127th Avenue and 8th Street.
The fire and smoke damaged five businesses. Firefighters said a beauty salon in the middle of the mall suffered the most damage and may have been where the fire started. Other businesses affected by the fire and smoke were a perfume store, a restaurant, a Metro PCS store and a locksmith store.
“These people, you know, all your life you’ve seen them working hard, we know (it was) their only source of income, these are tough times,” said Alfredo Manzur who owns the perfume store which was damaged by smoke.
Manzur said he, like most of the other owners whose businesses were damage, doesn’t have insurance.
“It’s a mistake, unfortunately when things get tough and your expenses need to be trimmed, some times you say ‘Well, this is a big, big expense’ and you have to trim,” said Manzur.
Manzur and Brenda Janeiro, who owns the Metro PCS store, said while they had smoke damage they didn’t lose any inventory thanks to fire walls that separated their stores from the beauty salon.
“It was venting, coming out of the front of the structure” said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue’s Cesar Fabal. “The fire wall contained the fire.”
Firefighters had to cut through metal security bars on most of the affected businesses so they could get inside to see to what extent the fire had spread.
No injuries were reported.