MDFR units extinguish large blaze at Miami Gardens church

MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) - Firefighters spent much of the day working to extinguish a large blaze at a church in Miami Gardens.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue was dispatched to a fire at the Greater New Bethel Baptist Church on the corner of Northwest 167th Street and 22nd Avenue, just before 2:30 p.m., Tuesday.

Officials said a crew was working on repairing the roof when something ignited.

The church’s roof had multiple layers of plywood inside, so it made the first responders’ efforts more difficult.

“If you think of a cake, it’s creeping in the layers of the roof and just producing a lot of smoke, which is what makes it difficult to put out,” said MDFR Lt. Kirsten Miller. “It created a great challenge, just reaching the fire.”

Over 45 MDFR units were on the scene to use as many resources as possible to battle the blaze. The call was upgraded to a four-alarm fire, after some time, to request additional assistance.

7SkyForce HD captured smoke billowing from the church as crews worked to contain the fire.

Fire crews managed to keep the flames from spreading to a nearby daycare.

“Walking up and seeing the flame, my heart was racing just a little bit,” said Mark Neptune, who was picking up his daughter from Bethel’s child care center.

Many parents arrived to pick up their child as the dark smoke made surrounding areas nearly impossible to see.

“They were in the back room in the back building, away from everything, so everybody is safe,” Neptune said.

While the investigation continues, officials said MDFR units will be on standby throughout the night because of how the fire spread through the roof.

Copyright 2018 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.