Fire rages in Wynwood art warehouse

Wooden sculptures and furniture waiting to be shipped by Miami company Art by God went up in flames.

10/10/2012 6:14 PM

10/10/2012 8:23 PM

Firefighters worked all day Wednesday to tame a stubborn, smoky blaze at a Wynwood art warehouse and protect surrounding buildings.

The storage building, 60 NE 27th St., belongs to Art by God, a family-owned business known for its decorative fossils and nature-inspired furniture. The fire broke out at about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday in the packing and shipping area where inventory was waiting to be sent to retail stores across the country.

Miami Fire Rescue Lt. Ignatius Carroll said several factors made this a particularly difficult fire to control.

“The warehouse had what we call a large fire load — basically with wood and stuff stacked up pretty high,” Carroll said. “Because there were no windows, it was hard to get ventilation going, and it was difficult to stay in the building once conditions got worse.”

After battling flames for about four hours, Carroll said, the team switched to a containment strategy and pulled the firefighters out of the building. Part of the roof collapsed at 3 p.m., but no one was inside at the time.

Two firefighters were taken to the hospital for dehydration and minor injuries. About 80 firefighters were on the scene during the peak of the crisis.

Ingrid Harris, whose parents started the home décor business 25 years ago, said about half the inventory in the warehouse was destroyed.

“We’re just thankful for the fire department and glad no one got hurt,” Harris said. “Hopefully we’ll come back from this.”

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