Miami-Dade County

Fire rips through Miami strip mall; firefighter falls through roof

A fire ripped through a Miami shopping center early Thursday, gutting several stores and putting a scare into a firefighter.

The fire broke out after 1 a.m. at the center, on Flagler Street between 67th and 69th avenues and took about 90 minutes to extinguish.

Firefighters are still on the scene and investigators will look into the cause of the fire later Thursday morning.

An unstable roof affected the crew atop the building.

“The roof became unstable and one fire captain did fall halfway through the roof,” Miami Fire Rescue spokesman Ignatius Carroll told reporters. The captain’s equipment caught him from a full fall and greater injury, Carroll said.

No one else was injured at the strip center. A hardware store, restaurant, medical officer and underwear shop were damaged.

“A whole bunch of smoke, burst of flames, glass flew everywhere on the street and a lot of debris,” said Erika Gonzalez who witnessed the businesses go up in flames. “The shelves we’re falling apart and burned.”

The owner of My Little Secret told Miami Herald news partner CBS4′that she is devastated.

“Everything is damaged, everything,” said Azuzela Jacome, who has owned the store for 13 years and does not have insurance.

This report will be updated as more information becomes available.