Residents of an apartment building in Bay Harbor Islands were ordered to immediately evacuate Wednesday night after the structure was declared unsafe, officials said.
Residents from 24 occupied units were told to evacuate the 56-year-old, 4-story residential apartment building located at 1080 93rd Street.
Inspectors from a third-party engineering company indicated in a report to town officials that the building had "significant structural defects," and the town's chief building inspector deemed it unsafe, officials said.
Resident Chris Corrales said he had about 15 minutes to grab possession from his unit before evacuating.
"Somebody needs to be held responsible," Corrales said. "It’s pathetic, all these inspectors wait to the last moment to come over here after lives are lost and start checking up on things. They should’ve done this a long time ago. This building is 56 years old."
Officials said the building has been repeatedly cited by the town, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and Miami-Dade's elevator safety section for numerous violations in the past.
"The building is 56 years old, and has been repeatedly cited by the Town of Bay Harbor Islands, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and Miami-Dade’s elevator safety section for numerous violations. Unfortunately, neither the property owner nor subsequent receiver have rectified the structure’s issues, and today’s notification by the independent engineer of a safety issue necessitates the evacuation of the building," town officials said in a statement. "The Town of Bay Harbor Islands is working closely with the building’s management company, the building’s court ordered receiver, and several charitable organizations to provide support to displaced residents and their pets."
The 13-page report said inspectors found cracks in concrete, "severe deterioration" in exterior corridors, and bulging and expansion of concrete on a walking surface.
The report included more than a dozen photos showing the cracking and damage that inspectors found.
"We’re helping the tenants as best as we can, getting them relocated," property manager Erick Pamblanco said. "It’s an unfortunate situation that’s going on right now."
The tragic condo collapse in Surfside back in June has forced building officials across South Florida to take a closer look at older structures. Inspections across the region have prompted evacuations at many residential structures since then.
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