OPA-LOCKA (CBSMiami) – It’s now cleanup mode after more than two dozen cars, trucks and trailers were burnt to a crisp Monday evening.
Reports came in of explosions at an Opa-locka business near 12805 NW 42 Avenue shortly before 5 p.m.
Plumes of black smoke could be seen for miles after the blaze broke.
Miami-Dade Fire said about 10 to 15 trailers were affected in the fire. They said some propane tanks were part of the blaze.
Crews used foam to control the blaze which kept spreading to other vehicles. Just under and hour later, crews were able to control the fire with 22 units at the scene.
The fire started small, involving only a few cars. But within minutes, it had grown into an inferno.
It all happened so fast, sending business owners and employees in the area into panic.
CBS4’s Silva Harapetian spoke to one man who owns a furniture store across the street.
Worried about his employees, he evacuated his business.
“It was windy and it was pushing the flames toward our side,” he said.
Another business owner shared his cellphone video. You can hear the explosions and see car parts flying everywhere as people run and duck.
“The heat was unbearable. We had to put all the cars inside from our customers and hope that it didn’t spread out to our side and we had to leave the premises because it was really intense,” said Humberto Mera of Mera Moto Sports.
Harapetian reported traffic was being diverted blocks away from the fire, for the safety of the community.
The fire department ordered evacuations in a 100-feet radius from the fire.
From the ground, witnesses captured the intensity. From the air, the smoke could be seen for miles.
At one point, Opa-locka airport shutdown two runways due to the major smoke from the fire nearby.
Miami International Airport said they were still fully operation but advised travelers to follow-up with airlines for their flight status.
“Do we know how the fire started?” Harapetian asked Miami-Dade Fire’s Filipe Lay.
“We have no idea. Fortunately, the structure was not involved and nobody was injured,” Lay said.
By nightfall, fire investigators continued to look for clues as they examined the torched cars, trucks and trailers.