MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Dozens of residents were forced to evacuate a downtown Miami apartment building after a fire caused flooding.

Fire crews say they were called out to the Harry Cane Towers on Northeast 5th street and Second avenue Tuesday afternoon for a stove fire on the fifth floor.

The building sprinkler system turned on and the fire was extinguished, but the fire department says pump failure caused water to flood several floors.

“We had an issue with trying to shut the water off, we had a backup which started flooding up the floors starting from the bottom up which is very unusual,” said Lt Ignatius Carroll with the City of Miami Fire Rescue. “We had water coming out of all different areas of the bathrooms and as a result we had to shut down the water completely and evacuate several people.”

Many residents of the 250 residents who live at the public housing building are elderly and disabled– and had several hours to get upstairs to their homes.

“So tired I’ve been crying,” said Mona Gilley, who is wheel chair bound and had to wait 5 hours to get inside. “I’ve been praying and crying.”

By 9:30 crews made repairs and the elevators was running again, allowing tired residents to go home. They cheered as they walked into the elevator

Only one person was displaced, the man who lives in the unit where the fire started is temporarily staying in an empty unit in the building.


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