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‘We lost everything.’ Man left with charred mess after fire rips through family store

Fire ripped through a patio furniture warehouse in Hialeah Sunday, leaving a charred mess and a small business owner trying to figure out what his next step will be.

“It’s a disaster,” said Ariel Castano, whose family owns Bica Florida. “We lost everything.”

The fire began in the 25-by-75-foot bay in a warehouse at 1089 SE Ninth Court Sunday afternoon. It destroyed plastic and wicker furniture, many of which were in boxes waiting to be shipped to customers, Castona said. His dad was able to escape through the rear door. No one else was inside.

“Thank God no one was hurt,” he said.

Hialeah District Fire Chief Carlos Arencibia said when firefighters arrived there was thick black smoke and flames and no entry point. Hialeah firefighters — who had some help from Miami-Dade Fire Rescue — had to douse the flames from the outside until the roof collapsed and then they were able to feed a hose through the roof.

Arencibia said in all it took about three hours to put out the flames. A huge chunk of the warehouse — four bays — was condemned. The cause of the fire was under investigation.

By early afternoon, yellow tape blocked off the bays which were now covered in black soot. Light entered through the hole in the roof, revealing a burnt forklift.

Mark Sims, whose family has owned the bays for more than 50 years, said he rushed over as soon as he got the call that the building was on fire. He was able to save his wife’s wedding dress, which was stored in one of the bays.

He said he will be fixing it as soon as possible. Lucky for him, one business, a general contractor, was not impacted by the fire and was able to access the damage immediately.

“We are going to do whatever we can to get these businesses up and running,” Sims said.

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