MIAMI (CBS4) – Fire forced dozens of residents at a Miami out of their homes for hours Saturday.

According to firefighters, the fire started on the 6th floor of Haley Sofge Tower at 800 NW 13th Ave.

Lt. Ignatius Carroll of Miami Fire Rescue said the fire started in a sixth floor unit and may have been caused by candles.

“The sprinkler system activated, but where the sprinkler head was located was unable to reach the fire,” he said.

Firefighters and police helped residents evacuate. One officer suffered smoke inhalation and had to go to the hospital, as did the woman who lives in the unit where the fire started.

Deborah Valdes’ grandmother lives on the sixth floor

“She’s worried; she didn’t know what was going on she just called us and told us the fire rescue came and knocked down the door,” said Valdes.

Firefighters say the third, fourth, and fifth floors of the building suffered major water damage. In addition the elevators don’t work, so people who can’t take the stairs are stuck in their apartments.

Henry Verdecia said that’s the case for his father who lives on the 10th floor.

“He’s just waiting up there because he has to come to the elevator because he had a stroke and he might fall so it’s safer if he stays up there,” he explained.

It was up to electrical inspectors to determine whether people could stay on the damaged floors of the building. Residents were allowed back in after 11 p.m. Saturday, but one resident told us the elevators still were not working.


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