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Residents of a Miami Beach apartment building were forced to evacuate after a floor partially collapsed Sunday night. The incident happened on the first floor of the Ocean-Bay building at 8260 Byron Avenue.
The Miami Beach apartment building where a floor partially collapsed Sunday night has been declared "an unsafe structure," the city said Monday night.
A building official has declared the entire building unsafe after becoming aware of "life safety issues with the electrical system of the building this evening that caused him to issue the additional violation, closing down all 20 units," the city said in a statement.
All of the occupants have left the building, with most relocated to local hotels for three nights by the city.
Five apartments were previously declared unsafe because of the floor collapse on the first floor of the Ocean-Bay building at 8260 Byron Avenue.
Residents said they started hearing loud cracking noises and then saw part of the floor fall in.
"All the sudden it started sounding like bowling balls were coming through the ceiling, it just got louder and louder and the dogs started running around and I started screaming and then it looked like the walls were starting to cave but then the floor started giving way and sinking," resident Elizabeth Machin said. "Some things started crashing in and then I heard things crashing on the other side. It's just very shocking and it was really bad, it was scary."
Resident Jerry Pena said his baby was sleeping and he and his wife were watching a movie when the floor started falling in.
"All the sudden we started hearing these clacks, these snaps, just boom, boom, boom, boom, and I hear my wife tell me 'the floor's collapsing,'" Pena said.
The couple grabbed their baby and ran outside, Pena said.
Five units at the building are unlivable, the apartment's owner, Allen Kaul, said. There was a notice of violation posted at the 66-year-old building.
Resident Ashley Collins was upset over the damage.
"Last week I called code enforcement twice on this guy," she said about Kaul.
Residents in unaffected apartments were allowed to stay, and water and the electrical system were still working.
Kaul said he would replace the damaged furniture in the affected units.
"I really apologize for the inconvenience," Kaul said. "I'm helping them out and I'll do the best I can. I apologize for the mess, it's a big headache."
The people who had to leave won't be allowed back until a structural engineer evaluates the entire building. Kaul has seven days to respond with a plan to correct the problem and after all the repairs are made the city will inspect the building.
Pena told NBC 6 South Florida that Kaul provided his family with another place to stay.
"It is not up to code, our roof is covered with FedEx boxes, it is a roof over our head and we are grateful that we are just trying to go day to day," he said.
The vacated apartments cannot be reoccuped until repair work is done and a final inspection is approved, the city said.