Firefighters remain at scene of Wednesday's fire at Miami art warehouse

Art By God warehouse prompts road closures in Wynwood

Published On: Oct 11 2012 08:30:41 AM EDT   Updated On: Oct 11 2012 02:58:53 PM EDT
MIAMI -

A fire at an art warehouse in Miami's Wynwood neighborhood continued to smolder on Thursday.

Police were asking residents in the area to keep their windows closed to avoid the heavy smoke.

"It was coming out of the roof," said Yoel Plasencia. "I looked across the street and saw the smoke coming out of the AC unit."

More than 80 firefighters were on scene at the Art By God warehouse at 60 Northeast 27th Street Wednesday evening.

Art of God

"It looks very bad. I don't think they can get control of it because of the amount of stuff that's in there," said Alexander Vega, a nearby business owner.

According to Miami Fire Rescue, the first started about 8 a.m. Wednesday.

"The crews had to force their way inside. They were met by heavy, black smoke," said Fire Rescue Lt. Ignatius Carroll. 

Because the warehouse has no windows, firefighters were punching holes in the roof to vent the flames. The roof had collapsed. No injuries were reported.

"A lot of unknown is inside there and we don't want to take the risk of putting our firefighters in danger," said Carroll.

The warehouse is filled with paintings, sculptures, wood carvings and equipment.

"They have art inside. Very expensive art, very pricey, yes," said Plasencia.

Vega said the loss could be in the millions.

Gene Harris, the owner of Art By God, said he was devastated but thankful no one was inside at the time of the fire.

Firefighters were expected to remain on scene throughout the evening to knock down any flare ups.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.