Miami fire claims three buildings

Kathy Riley/Arizona Silver Belt Firefighters combat the blaze in Miami on Aug. 24.

Three vacant buildings were destroyed, and two firefighters suffered injuries, when a large fire broke out along Live Oak Street in Miami last week.

Two firefighters with the Tri-City Fire District were injured while fighting the flames on Aug. 24. Tri-City Fire Chief Nick Renon said one suffered second-degree burns and was flown to a Valley burn center; the second was treated for heat exhaustion at Cobre Valley Regional Medical Center and released.

The three structures – including the former Schwarz Lumber Company at 513 W. Live Oak, which Renon called “an icon over the town for years” – were total losses. 

Live Oak Street was closed for several hours, and traffic rerouted through downtown Miami, as firefighters from both Tri-City and the Globe Fire Department worked to extinguish the fire. Renon said the fire was controlled at 3:35 p.m. and out by 8 p.m., and the road was reopened an hour later. Heavy equipment was brought in to remove some metal roofing so that firefighters could reach hot spots.

The cause of the fire was under investigation; Renon said its point of origin was undetermined.

The Miami and Globe Police Departments, Gila County Sheriff’s Office, and Miami and Globe Public Works also responded to the scene. In addition, said Globe Fire Chief Gary Robinson, area businesses helped out with food, water and Gatorade.

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