Crews battle hours-long fire at Hialeah laundry supply warehouse

HIALEAH, FLA. (WSVN) - As crews worked to battle a Hialeah warehouse fire, those who work there said this is not the first time the building has gone up in flames.

Fire crews have been battling the remains of a warehouse fire in Hialeah that began around 6 a.m., Friday. They only stopped dousing it with water at around 4 p.m.

Hialeah Fire Rescue responded to the Garland Supply Company near West 25th Avenue and 78th Street, Friday morning. From the moment they arrived, crews tried to put out the blaze, which ended up taking about 10 hours.

“It’s very, very, very heavy fire load inside,” said Hialeah Fire Rescue spokesperson David Rodriguez. “Once we got here this morning, there was already fire and smoke coming out of the large bay door.”

In the process, the roof collapsed while crews tried to put out hot spots.

The company sells laundry supplies, which according to officials, are highly flammable.

“It’s a supply place. There’s a lot of hangers and anything you think you’d see like at a laundromat or at a dry cleaner,” said Rodriguez. “The hangers, the paper, all the plastic. There’s a lot of hazardous materials, you know, that are in there, so it makes it very difficult to have crews going in and out.”

The heavy smoke, which could be seen for miles, also caused health problems for those in the area. Those with respiratory issues have been advised to stay away from the scene.

“You can see it all the way from like the opposite side of the street,” said Laura Zafra, who works nearby.

Nearby business owner Ricardo Valdivia said he was worried for his property as well as the safety of the owner of the supply store that caught fire.

“It’s not good,” Valdivia said. “I’ve known the owner for 18 years, and he’s a very good person, works very hard, and you know today [he] lost everything in minutes.”

Officials said they responded to another fire at the same company earlier this week.

“Dealing with this building for a couple of days,” Rodriguez said. “Obviously, investigators are gonna be in there trying to figure out what is going on.”

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

The building has been deemed a total loss.

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