Floor collapses inside Miami Beach apartments
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- Miami Beach residents have been forced out of their apartments after the floor gave out from under them.
A sudden collapse shocked several residents late Sunday night, after the floor of two apartments sunk and separated from the walls, leaving a gap between the baseboard and the wall of about half a foot in distance. "It was a beautiful evening and everything, but all of a sudden I came in, I had the dogs inside the apartment, and then, all of a sudden, it started sounding like bowling balls were coming through the ceiling," said Elizabeth Nation.
One family made it out just in time as their entertainment center fell right on top of the couch they were sitting on just minutes before. "All of a sudden we started hearing these snaps, 'Boom, boom, boom.' Everybody just ran out at the same time," said Jerry Pena.
Luckily, all families managed to safely get out of the building, located at 8260 Byron Avenue. "My wife told me the floor's collapsing," said Pena.
"Because it already had an indentation into the middle of the floor," said Yasmin Cos, "and I just put two and two together." They then grabbed their baby and ran outside.
The building's owner has promised to make good on repairs to the building as possible. "I really apologize for the inconvenience for the two that were in here," said Allen Kaul, the building's owner.
He said, over the years, water must have come into the structure and rotted out the wood and rusted the rebar. "The building is 60 years old," Kaul said. "Re-bar rust and the floor slab, it's a concrete floor slab. Re-bar rust and the weight of it with all the furniture, and it just gave way. It looks like a two-foot crawl space underneath."
Kaul put up several families at a nearby hotel. The City of Miami Beach has given Kaul seven days to hire an engineer. He has scheduled a meeting with an architect later Monday night to start work on the repairs, which need to be completed within 30 days.
Four units have been condemned as a result of this collapse, the two units on the second floor and two units on the first floor. There was also a lien on property for $58,000 from the city's code enforcement for not keeping up with property maintenance.
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