Man accused of setting front door of apartment on fire in Miami

Woman, 2 granddaughters were sleeping inside at time

MIAMI – A man was arrested early Monday for starting a fire at an apartment complex in Miami, authorities said.

The fire was reported just after 1 a.m. in the 1500 block of Northwest 15th Street Road. 

According to an arrest report, a man who lives in the building saw Luis Michel Menendez, 23, casing the area minutes before the fire started.

The witness told police he felt Menendez was acting suspicious.

He said he then went inside his apartment and noticed movement outside his front door.

He then opened his front door and saw his neighbor's front door was on fire, along with the front rug, the arrest report stated.

Police said the witness grabbed the rug and moved it away to prevent the fire from spreading.

According to the arrest report, the witness saw Menendez running east from the building and tackled him to the ground.

Menendez bit the victim on his rib cage during the struggle, authorities said.

Police said the woman who lives in the apartment where the fire was started was at work at the time.

She told police she received an alert on her cellphone that the fire alarm and motion sensor to her front door had been set off.

Authorities said a woman, Susan Rios, and her two granddaughters were sleeping inside the apartment when the fire was started.

They were not injured in the fire.

Rios told Local 10 News reporter Liane Morejon that her daughter's boyfriend is in jail on a domestic violence charge at this time. She said she believes Menendez was sent to threaten or hurt the family and deserves the maximum penalty. 

Menendez was arrested on charges of attempted murder, arson and battery.

A motive for the arson has not been released by authorities. 

About the Authors:

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for

Liane Morejon is an Emmy-winning reporter who joined the Local 10 News family in January 2010. Born and raised in Coral Gables, Liane has a unique perspective on covering news in her own backyard.