200 Without a Home After Partial Roof Collapse at North Miami Apartment Building

Heavy rain and roof construction leads to building evacuated

Nearly 200 people were without a home after they were evacuated from their apartment building in North Miami Thursday morning due to a partial roof collapse.

The collapse happened around 3 a.m. at the Gold King Apartments at 13285 Northeast 6th Avenue, officials said.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue responded and the whole building was evacuated. No one was reported injured.

"It was a dire situation and the apartment building needed to be evacuated," North Miami Police Maj. Neal Cuevas said.

Cuevas said the building's elevator shaft was completely flooded and the electricity was shut off as a precaution.

"I saw the water come from the roof to all over the floor," resident Charles Maneur said.

According to Cuevas, crews had been working on the roof earlier this week but hadn't finished before heavy rain moved into the area Thursday morning.

"The job was not completed and of course we had rains earlier this morning, the water started seeping into several of the apartments on the fourth floor," Cuevas said.

The water damage spread throughout the building, which had about 80 units, Cuevas said. Several units had dropped ceilings and water in the walls.

The Red Cross responded to the scene to assist the building's displaced residents in finding a place to stay.

"Red Cross volunteers are working with local officials to meet the needs of over 200 displaced people," the organization said in a statement. "The Red Cross is also working with city leaders to open a shelter to ensure that those who have been impacted have a safe and secure place to spend the night."

The Red Cross was unable to accomadate residents at hotels because of the large number of people involved, but it was able to provide transportation to the shelter, said Red Cross representative Carlos Castillo.

Kirby Dassas, who lives on the fourth floor, said he woke up to flooding in his apartment. He said he rushed to get his two young kids to safety.

"We woke up, the whole house got flooded," Dassas said. "We're hoping that we'll get some kind of help."

Residents won't be able to return to the building Thursday but police will stay at the scene to keep the building and the residents' possessions safe, Cuevas said.

The building's management has been contacted, Cuevas said.

City officials are meeting to come up with a solution.

"We are trying to call an emergency meeting at the council, getting a report of the complaints that have been made and the fines that this building has in order to adjust the situation," North Miami Mayor Lucie Tondreau said.

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