Florida Firefighters Extinguish Four-Alarm Warehouse Fire

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crews have put out a 4-alarm fire at a warehouse in Opa-locka, after nearly three hours of battling the flames, reports www.wsvn.com.

More than 200 firefighters and 41 units working on the 30,000 square-foot patio furniture warehouse. “There’s a large warehouse of furniture. There’s wood furniture, there’s all-weather wicker. It’s a lot of plastic that you can smell,” said onlooker Claudia Megia, who works in the area.

The fire spread to nearby power lines, and at least one car parked in front of the building. “At this time the fire is out,” said MDFR Lt. Arnold Piedrahita Piedrahita late Thursday morning. “Our firefighters did a phenomenal job of containing this fire to the origin of where it started.”

Rescue crews first responded to the call at around 7:56 a.m. Upon arrival, the Hazmat team was dispatched to the scene due to flammable liquids found inside the structure. MDFR also received help from Hialeah and City of Miami fire crews.

There are about 28 people who work in the warehouse, but only a few were inside the business when it caught fire. No one was injured.

According to officials, the roof of the warehouse collapsed. “Fire crews noticed immediately that there was structural damage due to the intensity of the fire,” said Piedrahita. “Therefore, the fire commanders were forced to retreat all the firefighters and attack this fire in a defensive position.”

Piedrahita said, once crews knew the warehouse was a total loss, their priority shifted to protecting the neighboring businesses. “They were able to protect the adjoining businesses, which suffered no damage,” he said. “Our main challenge in this fire was protecting our firefighters from the collapse of the building. Very early on in the operation, fire commanders noticed that the intensity of the fire had damaged walls within the building and the roof, so they pulled the fire crews out and initiated a defensive attack, basically drowned the fire from the outside to minimize the risk to our men and women.”

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