MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Dozens of firefighters responded to a fire at the outdoor Tropicana Flea Market on Thursday near Miami-Dade County’s Allapattah area.
Residents of buildings as far as Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood and downtown Miami reported seeing the dark smoke.
A man was injured and required hospitalization, according to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue. Some flea market vendors had rabbits and birds in cages at the flea market that firefighters said they needed help with.
Witnesses said the fire sparked in front of the man who was injured in a family-owned food truck.
The flames quickly engulfed one of the long white tents where vendors display their merchandise and spread to a nearby warehouse with pets inside, according to MDFR personnel.
Firefighters were able to save some pets, but sadly as a result of the fire, many animals in the warehouse died.
Vendors like Brandon Urena rushed to the market after getting phone calls to come and check on their merchandise.
“Sad because I’m selling over there and I have so many stuff in there,” said vendor Marea Ballejos.
Fausto Vives told Local 10 News his family owned a food truck at the flea market for 20 years -- their livelihood now sadly gone.
“Total loss -- total loss -- everything is on fire,” he said.
MDFR dispatched the first units shortly before 5 p.m., to 2951 NW 36th St. and by 6:20 p.m., the department had dispatched more than 45 units to deal with the massive fire.
Miami-Dade police officers also responded to block the area of Northwest 36th Street and 30th Avenue, east of Miami International Airport. Officials said the smoke from the fire did not affect airport operations.
The flea market advertises having more than 200 indoor and outdoor booths. Workers usually start to set up on Thursday since the flea market opens regularly to the public from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., from Friday to Sunday.
5 p.m. report