Aventura high-rise unit catches fire; resident, firefighter hospitalized

AVENTURA, FLA. (WSVN) - - Crews were able to put out a raging fire inside a unit at an Aventura high-rise that sent the woman who lives there and a firefighter to the hospital, Friday afternoon.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue responded to the scene of the two-alarm fire at the Del Prado Condos on the Bay, located at 18081 Biscayne Blvd., just south of Aventura Mall.

Cameras showed a fifth-floor unit in Tower 4 fully engulfed in flames.

Area resident Dillon Gonulkirmaz said he saw the fire in the unit’s balcony and took out his cellphone. “So I look at the other building, and we saw a lot of smoke coming out of the house, and I took a video,” he said.

“Thank God I don’t live there. That’s [expletive] insane!” someone is heard saying on the video.

Another resident shot footage that shows a burning chair in the unit’s balcony.

Officials said the fire spread quickly, charring the side of the building.

Maintenance workers told 7News they’re grateful to have made it out in one piece. “I went to the rooftop and went to the west end of the building so I could escape,” said one of the workers.

The employees said they were doing work in the building when the fire broke out on a floor below them, blocking their closest exit. “You can’t see two feet in front of you,” said the worker. “It’s thick smoke; it’s like a wall.”

Crews were able to get the blaze under control at around 5 p.m.

Officials said paramedics transported the woman who lived inside the unit, as well as a firefighter. “The resident inside the apartment, she was taken to a local hospital,” said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Lt. Jorge Troyano. “I can give no more information about that. We had one firefighter taken to a local hospital.”

Paramedics also treated two elderly women from separate units for smoke inhalation at the property. “I’m just praying that they’re doing well,” said resident April Fontanini.

More fire trucks arrived at the scene well into the evening. Police and firefighters blocked off the entrance to the complex, keeping many residents from their homes

“I want to find out how we’re going to get in to park our car,” said Howard, a Del Prado resident.

Del Prado residents said they’re thankful it wasn’t worse. “I just hope everybody’s OK, and just wishing for the best for them,” said Fontanini.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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