MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A small brush fire grew within seconds scorching several acres of a Natural reserve in Southwest Miami-Dade Friday afternoon.
The fire that started in Tamiami Pinelands park quickly spread forcing people to evacuate nearby businesses off Southwest 124th Street.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and Florida Forestry worked to put out the flames for a little over two hours.
Everyone in the area was safe, however, a few of their cars were burned.
“It started really small and we were just running the other way because it was massive,” said witness Jacob Freund.
Fire rescue says the nature reserve is known for small fires—but this wasn’t one of them.
Authorities say the fire started at around 2 p.m.
The fire damaged three vehicles. Video from the scene showed a melted hood on one vehicle, burned tires and shattered glass.
The vehicles looked to be damaged beyond repair.
“My whole car caught flames,” Steven Garcia saw the action from a warehouse window.
He got burnt when he ran to his car.
“Here, my face and here… The worst part internally.”
“It could’ve potentially been a large fire that could have spread to the buildings,” said Kirsten Miller, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.
Two men inside one car were lucky to make it out okay.
It took Miami-Dade firefighters a little over two hours to bring the fire under control. They had the help of mother nature with afternoon downpours.
We spoke to one teenager who witnessed the blaze. His father was too upset to talk about it.
“We went over there and watched. Within 15 seconds, the fire was over the trees coming across the road. It started really small. We were running the other way. It was massive.”
Firefighters remained in the area putting out hot spots.