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Firefighter hospitalized following training exercise south of Miami Springs

Firefighters hospitalized following training exercise in
Firefighters hospitalized following training exercise in 02:30

MIAMI - A firefighter had to be transported to a local hospital following a fire at a three-story Virginia Gardens building Friday before noon. 

CBS News Miami has learned a training exercise involving Miami-Dade and international firefighters was going on at the time.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said it happened in the area of the 6500 block of NW 36 Street. 

The injured firefighter was transported via air rescue to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where his condition is unknown. 

One hospitalized during firefighting training exercise in Virginia Gardens 02:24

Authorities said the patient is not an MDFR employee. 

Images from Chopper 4 showed firefighters on the roof of the building and several police and fire rescue units in the vicinity. 

The owner of the building said in an email sent to CBS News Miami's Joe Gorchow that the building had been vacant, locked and closed to the public since March 2020. 

"Having the buildings empty and locked to public access, we granted authorization to Miami-Dade Fire Department to perform training exercises in our property."     

Keyla Grossi who lives a few feet from where the fire started told CBS News Miami that her husband told her about black smoke coming from the building.

"The building has been closed for years since I've been living here, so I don't know how it started," she said. 

Police had closed off part of 36 Street while firefighters contained the fire.

MDFR Chief James Reyes shared the following statement with CBS News Miami on Saturday, saying:

"We are saddened to learn of an unfortunate accident at a training exercise that included Miami-Dade Fire Rescue personnel. We are working closely with the Miami-Dade Police Department to complete a full investigation to understand the chain of events and what must be addressed to ensure all trainings are as safe as possible. We will work with the Fire Chief to also complete a comprehensive audit of protocols and practices to ensure no incident like this happens in the future."

The blaze is under investigation. 

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