Officials investigating ‘suspicious’ fire at Miami nightclub

MIAMI (WSVN) - Officials are investigating a fire that started at a Miami nightclub.

City of Miami Fire Rescue responded to the scene along Northwest Seventh Street and 45th Avenue, just after 3 a.m., Thursday.

Officials said the fire started at Rumba’s Discoteque, a Latin club located on the first floor of a two-story commercial building.

“We are just waiting on the police to be able to go inside,” said Roberto Alegria, a DJ at the club. “I was scared. The problem is that I have equipment in there, so I need to go inside and check if anything was stolen.”

Officials said the circumstances surrounding the fire are unusual.

“It’s under investigation,” said Miami firefighter George Betancourt. “Right now, we’re just doing the clean up part which is salvage and overhaul. Just making sure that there’s no other fire extension to the rest of the structure. We’re wrapping things up as we speak.”

7News cameras captured many firefighters outside the business.

Firefighters found the fire towards the back of the building and quickly put it out.

“Our crews made our way inside. They found a fire to the rear of the building and was able to quickly extinguish it,” said Miami Fire Rescue Capt. Ignatius Carroll.

A notice on the door stated the person renting the space owed the landlord $16,500 in past due rent, which was due Thursday.

“We have not been able to get in contact with the owner of the business, but our fire investigators are working this as a suspicious fire,” said Carroll.

Fire rescue said they saw a window pane pushed out and the front door unlocked when they arrived, making it one of several reasons they believe the fire is suspicious.

“We’re also hearing from some of the owners here of their businesses that some graffiti has been seen along the walls and along the glass of this business for the last couple of days,” said Carroll, “so even though they’re not sure of what type of activities take place, they also feel this is something suspicious that may have occurred here as well.”

“They wrote, ‘We watch you in the streets,'” said Alegria. “They spray painted it yesterday. Last Thursday, they spray painted the business, and today we have the fire.”

“Yeah, graffiti on the glass for the last three or four days,” said nearby business owner Dario Ross. “I saw them remodeling, but I never saw them actually being in business.”

Some of the smoke went into nearby businesses in the plaza. However, no damage was observed and the stores will be operating normally Thursday, officials said.

Miami Police also responded to the scene.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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