Fire destroys several businesses at plaza
MIAMI (WSVN) -- Authorities are investigating a fire that broke out at a plaza and destroyed several South Florida businesses overnight.
The blaze broke out at about 1 a.m. Thursday at a hardware store along West Flagler Street and 67th Avenue. Miami Fire Rescue arrived on scene to find the store fully engulfed in flames and smoke billowing from the business.
The fire also caused extensive damage to neighboring businesses, including a medical center, a restaurant and an undergarment store. "It's just completely damaged, it's completely damaged, everything, everything," said Azucena Jacome, as she shook her head in disbelief.
Jacome has owned My Little Secrets undergarment boutique for 13 years. She was preparing to open a second store in two weeks but all of the merchandise for her new store was destroyed in the fire. She has no insurance to cover the loss.
Erika Gonzalez's sister notified police of the fire. "An explosion happened and there was fire and glass coming out of the front of the store," she said, "and my sister picked up the phone and called 911."
A relative of a business owner, whose restaurant suffered extensive damage in the fire, was devastated by the loss. "The sad part is that we've only been open for about a week, now," said Jogeo Calvo. "We were just trying to establish everything, build up clientele. It's a sad turn of events."
It took about 40 firefighters and 14 fire trucks to extinguish the blaze. One firefighter took a fall while battling the blaze. "As firefighters were on the roof trying to conduct an operation, the roof became somewhat spongy, soft and one firefighter actually fell halfway through," said Miami Fire Rescue Lt. Ignatius Carroll. "He was stopped by his gear. There was no injuries to any of the firefighters."
It remains unclear as to what started the fire. No one was injured. Eastbound West Flagler Street remains shut down at 67th Avenue.
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