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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami firefighters were put into an extremely dangerous situation Wednesday as they battled a fire inside a warehouse packed with art and art supplies.

“I went to check my car around 6:45 a.m. and I saw smoke coming from the roof,” said Yoel Plasencia.

When fire crews arrived at the building at 60 NE 27th Avenue they found thick smoke streaming from the rear of the “Art by God” warehouse.

After cutting through the structure’s corrugated metal door, firefighters entered and encountered extremely limited visibility.

“Fire crews had to force their way inside and they were met by heavy black smoke inside the building,” said Miami Fire Rescue spokesman Lt. Ignatius Carroll.

There were concerns that since the warehouse has no windows, heat could build up and possibly ignite propane tanks stored in the building.

“The challenge that we’re dealing with now is there really is no place to blow the smoke except through the roof top,” said Carroll.

Fire crews used saws to cut holes in the roof to ventilate the building.

“This is a warehouse that has a lot of equipment in there which is considered a fire load, stuff that is stacked up to the roof top and has the potential to collapse if they are not very cautious,” said Carroll.

By mid afternoon, the roof collapse. The entire contents of the warehouse was destroyed.

Eighty firefighters from five different departments battled the blaze.

Two firefighters were taken to the hospital to be treated for dehydration and heat exhaustion.


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