Miami-Dade County

40 golf carts burn in explosive fire where David Beckham wants to put soccer stadium

A few dozen golf carts were damaged in a fire at Melreese Country Club late Tuesday. Workers were assessing the damage and trying to determine the cause early Wednesday.
A few dozen golf carts were damaged in a fire at Melreese Country Club late Tuesday. Workers were assessing the damage and trying to determine the cause early Wednesday. jflechas@miamiherald.com

Fire crews responded late Tuesday night to reports of raging fires at Melreese Country Club, the potential site for David Beckham’s future soccer stadium.

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A few dozen golf carts were damaged in a fire at Melreese Country Club late Tuesday. Workers were assessing the damage and trying to determine the cause early Wednesday. Joey Flechas jflechas@miamiherald.com

A 911 call came in around 10:30 p.m. reporting a “large body of fire” near the Melreese golf clubhouse, said Capt. Ignatius Carroll of Miami Fire Rescue. When crews arrived, they found ”36 to 40 golf carts engulfed in flames,’’ he added.

The burned-out carts were visible from 37th Avenue late Tuesday, about 50 yards from the street. Rows of metal pieces left from the frame of the golf carts were seen just a few feet away from another group of parked carts that were not damaged.

A Miami Fire Rescue truck was parked outside the clubhouse, its water hose connected to a fire hydrant right next to the Melreese sign on 37th Avenue, which was closed in both northbound and southbound directions at the golf course while investigators were on scene. The road reopened around midnight.

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Miami Fire Rescue crews responded to a fire at Melreese County Club late Tuesday night, July 24, 2018. Fire officials said about 40 golfs had caught fire near the clubhouse. Joey Flechas jflechas@miamiherald.com

Firefighters were able to contain the blaze to the parking lot area and prevented it from spreading to the pro shop, Carroll said. No one was injured, he said.

Carroll said the park closed between 8:30 and 9 p.m. Tuesday night.

Last Wednesday, Beckham’s ownership group, after a five-year battle to get a Major League Soccer stadium built in Miami, persuaded the Miami City Commission to put on the November ballot the question of whether Melreese should be developed as a soccer and retail complex.

The issue has been contentious with critics decrying developing 131 acres of public land for a for-profit private project. Supporters contend the project will bring professional soccer to Miami and economic development to the Grapeland neighborhood around Miami International Airport.

Carroll said Fire Rescue is investigating the cause of the fire.

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