2 Miami Fire Inspectors Injured in Confrontation: Authorities

The incident took place as they were at 971 W. Flagler St. Friday

By Willard Shepard
|  Saturday, Sep 15, 2012  |  Updated 10:17 AM EDT
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Two Miami fire inspectors were injured in a confrontation on West Flagler Street as they went to check out a building Friday, authorities said. The three-story building at 971 W. Flagler St. has several fire violations that have not been addressed by the owner, including in businesses on the first floor, Miami Fire-Rescue said.

Two Miami fire inspectors were injured in a confrontation on West Flagler Street as they went to check out a building Friday, authorities said. The three-story building at 971 W. Flagler St. has several fire violations that have not been addressed by the owner, including in businesses on the first floor, Miami Fire-Rescue said.

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Two Miami fire inspectors were injured in a confrontation on West Flagler Street as they went to check out a building Friday, authorities said.

The three-story building at 971 W. Flagler St. has several fire violations that have not been addressed by the owner, including in businesses on the first floor, Miami Fire-Rescue said.

As Firefighter Johnny Suarez was there Friday, he was clipped by a car driven by the husband of a woman who owns a business, Miami Fire-Rescue said.

The man got out of the car, as Suarez asked him why he had hit him. When another fire inspector tried to break up the confrontation he was punched, Miami Fire-Rescue said.

“The other fire inspector he was talking to came in and tried to get in between the two of them so that there is no confrontation, and he is assaulted," Miami Fire-Rescue spokesman Lt. Ignatius Carroll said. "So I have two firefighter inspectors that were injured as a result.”

Miami Police took the driver taken into custody, while Suarez, 39, who has been with the fire department for seven years, was taken to Mercy Hospital for treatment, Miami Fire-Rescue said.

The West Flagler building is on fire watch, meaning that firemen come by every hour to make sure that it is OK for residents to be inside.

The fire department has posted signs indicating the Douglas Apartments and the businesses on the ground floor aren't safe, and the residents have been told they have to be out of the building by Monday.

“We have people here that have kids that live off of disability checks that paid their rent – what are we supposed to do?” resident Jessica Hernandez asked.

Carroll said the fire violations have been unaddressed for some time.

"The building’s fire alarm system does not work, which makes it unsafe for residents to stay here," he said.

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