NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - The livelihoods of vendors are uncertain after a flea market was engulfed by flames in Northwest Miami-Dade.
Vendors crowded around a locked gate outside of the Tropicana Flea Market early Friday morning. A lot of them were outside trying to get answers on what happened and when they can get back in.
Fire officials said the blaze ravaged at least 40% of the space. A woman on the other side of the fence was seen telling people that she could not let them in until it’s safe.
“When I tried to come, I couldn’t get inside because they close,” said Dor Seilvil, a vendor.
For some, the loss is so much. Gerzon Sevilla told 7News he lost close to $80,000. In a matter of minutes, it was all gone, he said speaking in Spanish. He said he hasn’t been told anything, and this is everything he has.
His sister lost nearly $40,000 worth of clothes and other merchandise.
“This is the livelihood of many people here, so it’s just crazy, especially all the people that lost everything,” said a woman. “A lot of people here immigrants you know, they live off this, so they don’t know what they’re gonna do. They’re like, lost.”
7Skyforce shows investigators assessing the damage Friday morning, a day since the fire broke out inside the flea market near Miami International Airport.
“Initially, it was a food truck that was on fire,” said MDFR Deputy Chief Ray Jadallah.
New cell phone video from inside shows some of the 100 firefighters helping to battle the blaze. One man was badly burned near a ceviche truck and was taken to the hospital as a trauma patient. Also inside were several animals.
“Fifty to 60 birds, rabbits, chickens. We were able to pull out what appears to be approximately two dozen of those various animals,” said Jadallah. “Unfortunately, we did have quite a few that succumbed to the fire.”
Some people have been allowed inside to get perishable items.
Some vendors told 7News they heard it could be two to four weeks before they reopen.
Fire officials are still working to figure out what started this fire.
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