Hialeah building evacuated after partial collapse


More than a dozen tenants of a two-story building in Hialeah have been ordered not to enter their homes indefinitely after part of the structure collapsed Monday morning, firefighters said.

No injuries were reported at the 15 residential units at 2350 Palm Avenue, but the building – now deemed unsafe by authorities – was evacuated as authorities inspected a damaged walkway, the spokesman said. Hialeah firefighter David Rodriguez to el Nuevo Herald.

Police speak to residents after a second-floor walkway collapsed on Monday morning, Oct. 31, 2022, and the Palm Avenue building in Hialeah was deemed unsafe. Residents waited outside for answers all afternoon. Alie Skowronski [email protected]

Fire crews arrived at building, built in 1958, around 10 a.m., Rodriguez told the Miami Herald. There, they discovered that pieces of cement and rebar had fallen from the bottom of the second-floor walkway to the first.

“If someone had been there, things could have been much worse,” Rodriguez said. “Thank God no one was there.”

Crews assess the damage to the catwalk staircase that collapsed at a building on Palm Avenue in Hialeah on Monday morning Oct. 31, 2022. Alie Skowronski [email protected]

It was not immediately clear how many people were at home when the collapse happened or when they would be allowed back.

The Red Cross is helping affected families with vouchers and transportation to a hotel, the office of Hialeah Mayor Esteban Bovo told the Herald.

Red Cross Disaster Response Team volunteer Pete Suarez, left, speaks to residents as they await answers outside after a second floor walkway collapsed and the building on Palm Avenue in Hialeah was deemed unsafe on Monday, October 31. 2022. Alie Skowronski [email protected]

Mariel Campos, the apartment’s tenant, said she was taking a shower when she felt the building vibrate.

“I ran over to see what was going on and we couldn’t get the door open, it was blocked with debris,” the 32-year-old said.

Campos said she was worried she wouldn’t be allowed to collect belongings from her home, including her 8-year-old daughter’s school uniform.

“I left her with a friend who lives nearby because if she sees what the building looks like now, she’ll be shocked,” Campos said.

Maria Magdalena Hernandez, 61, center, hands out coffee to fellow residents as they wait outside for answers after a second-floor walkway collapsed that morning and their building on Palm Avenue was deemed unsafe on Monday, October 31, 2022, in Hialeah. Alie Skowronski [email protected]

María Magdalena Hernández, a 61-year-old tenant, said she went shopping with a neighbor minutes before the collapse.

Hernández added that she felt upset because no one told her where she would be sleeping with her disabled daughter on Monday night.

According to Jorge Albarino, who identified himself as the owner of the building, the city gave him permission on Monday to demolish the rest of the walkway.

“We will start tonight,” Albarino said.

Recent Evacuations in Miami-Dade

This building is not the first in Miami-Dade County to be evacuated in recent years for security reasons. At least nine other residential structures – including many in the Miami Beach and Bay Harbor Islands area – were evacuated following the June 2021 Champlain Towers South collapse in Surfside where 98 people died.

Here is a list of some of the newer apartment buildings that have been evacuated in the county:

Residents gather outside the Port Royale condos at 6969 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, after everyone living there was told to evacuate by 7 p.m. due to structural issues Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. Alie Skowronski [email protected]

  • June 15, 202: Residents of a four-story, 54-unit building in Miami Beach located at 700 Euclid Ave. were ordered to leave the premises after part of its roof collapsed, depending on the city. Two units were damaged but no injuries were reported.
Miami Beach resident Laura Lorenzo carries her belongings after being forced out of her apartment building at 700 Euclid Ave. The four-story, 54-unit building suffered a partial roof collapse and received an unsafe structure notice on Wednesday, June 15, 2022. David Santiago [email protected]

Bayview 60 Homes, is unsure, owners and tenants are due to vacate the five-story building, located at 3800 NE 168th Street, North Miami Beach, FL., today April 4, 2022. Alexia Fodere for the Miami Herald
  • September 29, 2021: A two-story, 10-unit building in Bay Harbor Islands was evacuated after being deemed unsafe due to significant structural and electrical defects. By September 24, the city had received a copy of a report that detailed distressed and cracked beams, walls and floors in addition to outdated electrical equipment.
    1065 98 rue Bougan-Villa.jpg
    Bougan-Vill in the Bay Harbor Islands was evacuated this week after a report revealed structural and electrical failures. Google Maps
  • September 1-2, 2021: Two apartment buildings in the Bay Harbor Islands were evacuated within a day of each other after the city’s building official said the properties were not safe to occupy. After tenants of a four-story, 24-unit building at 1080 93rd St. were ordered out of their homes, the city ordered the closure of a two-story, nine-unit building at 1060 95th St. The first work to be closed was built in 1965 and the second in 1948.

Hector Mendez carries personal items in a cart to the main entrance of the Forum Building at 1080 93rd Street in Bay Harbor Islands, Fla., after city officials deemed the building unsafe Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021. SAM NAVARRO Special for the Miami Herald

  • August 9, 2021: The City of Miami ordered the evacuation of a 138-unit condo at 5050 NW Seventh St. after deeming the structure “dangerous”. The building, built in 1973, was cited in July of that year because it was eight years behind in achieving its 40-year recertification.
Residents of a 138-unit condo at 5050 NW Seventh St. in Flagami were forced to evacuate Aug. 9, after city officials deemed the building unsafe. Daniel A. Varela [email protected]

A view of the partially collapsed roof belonging to a three-story apartment building at Northwest Miami-Dade in Hialeah, Fla. on Thursday, July 15, 2021. MATIAS J. OCNER [email protected]

Firefighters are evacuating a low-rise condominium building in Miami Beach on Saturday after a building inspector reported a flooring system failure and wall damage in a vacant unit. Daniel A. Varela [email protected]

The City of North Miami Beach ordered the immediate closure of Crestview Towers Condominium in July 2021 after an inspection report on the building found it had unsafe structural and electrical conditions, city officials said. Daniel A. Varela [email protected]

This story was originally published October 31, 2022 4:11 p.m.

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Omar is a bilingual, bicultural journalist, covering breaking South Florida news for the Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald. He holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor’s degree in education from the Universidad de Puerto Rico en Río Piedras.

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