Officials investigate possible arson at Miami grocery store

MIAMI (WSVN) - Officials believe a grocery store fire in Miami may have been the work of an arsonist.

Miami Fire Rescue responded to the intersection of North 62nd Street and North Miami Avenue, around 4 a.m., Tuesday.

“Bad, very bad,” said business owner Rafael Contreras. “I’ve been there for seven, so.”

According to officials, upon their arrival they noticed a smashed window and flammable liquids were found on the store floor near the flames, leading them to believe the fire was intentionally set. This fire comes just a week after another fire had sparked at the same store.

Firefighters had to cut through metal bars on the windows of the store to gain access.

As a result of the fire, North Miami Avenue had been blocked off. It has since reopened.

“At this time, it seems to be intentionally set,” said Miami Fire Department Capt. Ignatius Carroll. “We can’t say it’s actually an arson fire until we get in and do the investigation.”

7News spoke with the owner of the grocery store who said he was asleep when he got the call from first responders. “The fire department just called me,” said Contreras. “There was a very potent fire on the business, so I just got here, but I don’t know what happened.”

Contreras said, in the event the fire was intentional, he has no idea who would have committed the crime. “I have no problem with anybody here,” he said. “Everybody loves me.”

Officials said the building’s structure remained intact, and the business is not a total loss.

An employee who has been working at the store for eight years said the sight was hard to bear.

The fire has been contained. However, the cause remains unknown.

Authorities have since left the scene as the arson investigation continues.

No one was injured.

If you have any information on this fire, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.

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