Mansion in Coral Gables goes up in flames

Cause of fire under investigation

By Madeleine Wright - Reporter

CORAL GABLES, Fla. - A mansion in Coral Gables went up in flames Saturday night, destroying the home, authorities said.

Firefighters were back at the scene of the fire early Sunday, using a ladder truck to douse stubborn hot spots.

Crews spent hours battling intense heat and flames the day before.

"We had crews on the inside of the structure. We quickly realized we had to pull firefighters out and go into what we call defensive mode," Coral Gables Fire Department Battalion Chief Alex Garcés said. 

Garcés said the fire erupted in a second floor bedroom of the mansion at 8261 La Rampa St. around 8 or 9 p.m. Saturday.

Firefighters said multiple cars in the driveway made it difficult for crews to access the fire.

"It appears that there were two ends of the roof, so the fire was in a lot of void spaces, and it was hard to get to the seat of the fire," Garcés said. 

Police escorted a man in a bathrobe, believed to be the homeowner, from the scene.

"When they said, 'Run,' I ran,'" one woman told Local 10's Madeleine Wright in Spanish.

A man named Carlos Valdes also lived at the house. He said he is worried he won't be able to salvage his belongings.

"We are very nervous about this problem," Valdes said. 

The battalion chief said it’s too soon to tell whether the fire is accidental or suspicious.

The fire marshal is investigating to determine the cause of the fire.

According to Zillow.com, the home has five bedrooms, six bathrooms, was built in 1982 and is worth $2.6 million.

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