The residents were forced to leave 971 W. Flagler St. Monday, three days after two Miami fire inspectors were injured during a violent confrontation. Miami Fire-Rescue spokesman Lt. Ignatius Carroll explained why the city had to shut down the building.
Residents of a Little Havana apartment building deemed unsafe were being forced to leave Monday, just days after two fire inspectors were injured during a violent confrontation.
Officials with the Miami Police and Fire departments spent much of Monday assisting residents of 971 W. Flagler Street out of the 3-story building.
The three-story, 30-unit building has no fire alarm system, has illegal partitions and sewer and electrical issues, officials said. The building's owner has been given months to comply and update the building but so far nothing has been done, officials said.
The building had been put on fire watch, meaning firemen come by every hour to make sure that it is OK for residents to be inside.
On Monday, residents were being given 15 minutes to get their valuables and personal items out of their units. Officials said they hoped to have the process wrapped up by 3:15 p.m. Monday.
Some residents expressed anger, saying they have nowhere else to go. Others were upset that they weren't given time to move all of their belongings out.
On Friday, two fire inspectors were injured in a confrontation with the husband of a woman who owns a business on the building's first floor, fire officials said.
Officials say Firefighter Johnny Suarez was clipped by a car driven by the man, who was angry about the impending closure of the building.
The man got out of the car, and Suarez asked him why he had hit him. When another fire inspector tried to break up the confrontation he was punched, Miami Fire-Rescue officials said.
The suspect, who hasn't been identified, was taken into police custody. Suarez was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.