SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Heavy flames and the haze of thick white smoke filled a Southwest Miami-Dade neighborhood Sunday afternoon, as first responders rushed to put out a fast-moving grass fire.
Area resident Claudia Klevan said a neighbor alerted her that the blaze had sparked near her home. “I was at the zoo with my family, and my neighbor called me and told me there was a fire behind my house, so we rushed back to make sure the dogs were OK,” she said.
The flames ignited fear among nearby residents. “We were taking the most important belongings and papers and the dog, ready to leave,” said Gloria Perez.
“It was very odd to me that all of a sudden this smoke that I thought was coming from, I don’t know, a mall, something burning, was coming from here,” said Mary Faraldo.
Fire officials responded at around noon in the area of Southwest 76th Street and 72nd Court. Crews have been battling the blaze for hours.
“We saw the fire coming toward the house, and it was a very helpless feeling,” said Perez.
“The winds out in the east were very strong, so it was posing a significant danger among the houses on the west side of it, along with its occupants,” said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Lt. Jason Maghari.
Officials said the flames are now contained to a small field, and while the fire posed a danger to several homes, it also threatened wild animals living in a nearby nature preserve.
“They burrow there, they breed there, they live there, and so that was my primary concern when I saw the fire,” said Faraldo.
No one was hurt.
Sunday’s fire comes after crews spent hours fighting a grass fire on Saturday, near Southwest 168th Street and 162nd Avenue, also in Southwest Miami-Dade.
“The fire and the wind was so strong that it blew across four acres, and it’s gotten close to houses,” said area resident Lourdes Nunez.
Sunday night, 7News cameras captured hot spots smoldering in the field.
Although the current fire fight seems to be over for now, neighbors are hoping these hot spots don’t reignite.
“My concern is that after Hurricane Irma, there are a lot of dead trees and dried debris that hasn’t been cleaned up, and obviously, with the wind conditions, we’re keeping an eye on it,” said Klevan.
Fire officials urged residents to be careful because any small spark could cause a major fire.
The cause of Sunday’s grass fire remains unknown.
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