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