Rains Help Firefighters Battle Brush Fire, But It Is Still Burning

Firefighters Work to Save Popular Restaurant From Brush Fire

Mother Nature helped firefighters battle a massive brush fire, but more rain will be needed to help knock the fire out completely Wednesday.

While it did rain for a brief time in Southwest Miami-Dade, unfortunately the area of the fire did not get close to the soaking showers as other parts of South Florida saw on Tuesday.

Residents can still smell the smoke and see it in the air, but those who live and work in the area tell us they are literally breathing easier tonight.

What once look liked a wild inferno, is now a charred mess along Southwest 8th Street.

The massive brush fire, burning more than two thousand acres since Sunday, has left area residents and business owners on edge.

"Yesterday was the worst day, we didn’t think we were going to find the pit this morning," said Michael Gonzalez, who owns the Pit Bar B Q, and was forced to evacuate twice this week.

Cell phone video shows firefighters dousing a popular Southwest Miami-Dade restaurant with water, and standing guard overnight, saving it from burning up in the fire.

"The fire was surrounding the property, the flames were higher than 9, 14 feet," Gonzalez said. "The smoke was inside the restaurant and on the property, we couldn’t see the cars in front of us on our way out."

Owner Sonia Gonzalez added, "It was very scary, beyond words can ever express."

"We had fire behind us and all around us... It was very hot we could actually feel the heat of the fire," she said. "The smoke, it was orange the street on the other side it was just completely orange."

The fire has been raging in Southwest Miami-Dade near Eighth Street and Krome Avenue since Sunday.

People have been praying for rain, and they finally got it. A 20-minute downpour gave firefighters the ammo they needed Tuesday to help knock down some of the flames and make ground on the blaze.

The fire has burned more than 2,100 acres and is now 60-percent contained. And after Tuesday's rains firefighters are optimistic the worst is over.

"The rain helped us out tremendously, brought the humidity levels up," said Thom Coletti, the Forest Area Supervisor.

Fire officials will continue to attack hots spots smoldering at the interior of the fire through the week, but as of Tuesday night, they said neighbors could rest easy.

"All of the communities and homes in here, I feel pretty confidently they can sleep well tonight," Coletti said.

"Because of that rain, I’m going to sleep better tonight," Michael Gonzalez said.

Sonia Gonzalez also offered a huge thanks to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue for saving their business.

"We will forever be in their debt, because they saved us this time they really say worked hard to save the Pit and we are very grateful for that," she said.

Firefighters will be back on the scene Wednesday morning and expect to be here through the week working to contain the fire.

They are hoping mother nature will help them out again in the coming days, with even more rain to put out the flames and keep the ground moist.

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