NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE (CBSMiami) – Thirty-seven people have been displaced and several others were told not to go on their balconies after the roof of an apartment building in Northwest Miami-Dade partially collapsed.
The Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources (RER) and a County building official were on the scene at 17500 N.W. 68th Avenue where Code Compliance inspectors were on Friday morning and where a sign deemed the building “unsafe.”READ MORE: Broward School Board Meets To Discuss Mask Use For The New School Year
The collapse happened on Thursday afternoon at one of the buildings in the Lakeview Garden Condominium.
Drone video, provided by Rapid Recovery Team, shows the extensive damage to the three-story building.
WATCH DRONE VIDEO OF DAMAGE HERE:
The RER report stated, “They were informed by the condo association that the area in question where the mansard roof fell off had been cordoned off prior to the collapse on the advice of a roofing contractor who had visited the property days before.”
The Building official ordered the building be evacuated and secured and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue ordered the utilities cut. They planned to put a 6-foot fence around the building.
In addition, in an email to CBS4, the RER also said people in the complex’s other buildings have been instructed to not go on their balconies “in an abundance of caution”.
RER does not conduct forensic investigations and does not determine the cause of a collapse, but RER said in its report “Our inspectors observed termite and water damage and signs of disrepair to the mansard roof that fell. While there are likely other hidden and latent conditions that are not observable, these are visual indicators that there were issues with the roof, which is expected in old buildings and in materials like wood that wear out over time.”
Ignacio Cierra hinted at that when he spoke with CBS4.
“The building is old and there are a lot of termites in the building. The building is in very bad shape. I think the association has to do more,” said Cierra. “I heard a big sound at the beginning and then about an hour later another big sound and part of the roof fell.”READ MORE: Two Men Arrested In 2016 Murder Of FIU Student
CBS4 was not able to reach the condo association board for comment.
The RER report also stated, “The incident highlights the need for and importance of regular property maintenance. The condo association has been instructed to restrict access to all balconies in three other buildings as the other similar mansard roofs hand over these and in an abundance of caution, residents in the other buildings should avoid the balconies. RER is requesting that the association provide safe passageways for pedestrians for continued entry/exit into these buildings.”
Elizabeth Monagas lives in one of the buildings in the complex.
“I am feeling very, very upset,” she told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench. “They say they don’t know, but they knew this was going to happen. I told them this was going to happen.”
The report stated, “The association will need to get and provide to RER a complete inspection by a licensed engineer, including in-depth inspections of the mansards of the other buildings. The engineer must also provide a plan for any safeguards as required for added safety and provide a letter to RER certifying continued safety of the buildings for occupancy.”
“RER is working with the association as they implement a plan to ensure the safety of residents,” said the report. “The association will need to pull permits for any repairs they need to do.”
The report said residents will be able to return to the building when “the dangers have been eliminated and the Building Official reassess the building for re-occupancy.”
The report says the building was built in 1972 and was due for its 40-year recertification in 2012 which it received in 2015. It is due for its 50-year recertification next year.
The report concluded by saying “RER staff is reviewing the history of this building and related documentation.”
The American Red Cross is assisting 37 people from 19 families with emergency aid, including financial assistance.MORE NEWS: Florida Tax Collector To Workers: Get Vaccinated Or Find A New Job
A spokeswoman for Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava says the Mayor spent time with the families on Thursday when she visited the site.