MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Dozens of firefighters were called in to put out a Sunday morning blaze at a strip mall that destroyed one business and damaged three others.
Miami Fire Rescue said the fire broke out at a costume shop at S.W. 11th Avenue and 8th Street, before spreading.
“We received a call from a passerby who said he observed a large amount of smoke coming from several businesses,” said Miami Fire Rescue’s Capt. Ignatius Carroll. “As crews arrived, they encountered heavy smoke coming from several of the vents from the rooftop but we were unsure of exactly where the fire was. As the businesses were opened up, we did find a large fire.”
At first, crews could not identify the business where the fire began.
“The amount of heat and flames basically destroyed the business name on the building,” said Capt. Carroll. “Some of the challenges that we had, was that the fire made its way into the attic and several areas of the top ceiling that made it difficult for firefighters to reach the flames.”
Business owners told CBS4’s Hank Tester that the fire started in a costume shop in the center of the building that houses a small grocery store, cigar shop, insurance agency and travel service. They said the costume shop does work for Disney World.
45 firefighters were called in to extinguish the flames. They got things under control about an hour later.
“It’s shocking. You lose money every time you have to close for days. It’s all right. Things happen. It could happen to anybody,” said Jose Hernandez, owner of the insurance company, left standing helplessly across the street as crews cleared out his store.
Erika Andrade, owner of the travel service that also includes cell phones, said she was alerted by the alarm company who said there was a possible break-in. When she checked her camera system on her home computer, it wasn’t a burglar she saw.
“I took a look at my camera and I saw a fireman inside the store. So we decided to come down quick and see what was happening,” said Andrade.
No one was hurt.
ATF agents were on scene investigating the cause of the fire.
ALM #10491 MULTIPLE UNITS OTS 8:30AM, WORKING FIRE AT SE 8ST & 11AV. FIRE UNDER CRTL 9:43AM. pic.twitter.com/mGGb9f8mle
— CityofMiamiFireDept (@CityofMiamiFire) February 7, 2016