MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It appeared to be a simple fire in a van, but it got complicated real fast.
Chopper4 was over the scene at 72nd Street and SW 153 Avenue on Tuesday as Miami-Dade firefighters worked to put out the blaze.
“It was coming out like smoke, smoke, smoke, and then fire. It was a mess,” neighbor Francisco said.
The flames flared up, giving two firefighters quite the scare and pushing them away.
“They opened the back door and it exploded in their faces,” said witness Gustavo Dones.
Eventually they had to pour foam on the blaze to snuff it out.
Law enforcement sources told CBS4 the van contained a liquid storage bladder, which is common with individuals who sell gasoline illegally.
“Apparently we had some illegal storage of gasoline inside the vehicle,” said Capt. Ernie Jillson. “It was a rather large fire. It took a lot of hands to put it out.”
A total of fifteen units engaged in the fire fight.
“There were a couple of brief moments that it got a little ahead of us,” Jillson said.
Neighbors said they haven’t seen the van before.
When arson investigators finally got to look inside the van, they found several 164 gallon tanks of gasoline.
How and why the van caught fire is still under investigation.
Police were speaking with someone, but no one is in custody.
If you have any information that can help police with their investigation, contact Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.