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Surfside building collapse prompts officials to act quickly in Miami Beach, North Miami Beach

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Officials displaced hundreds of apartment building residents over safety concerns Friday and Saturday in Miami-Dade County.

Tanbeer Mahmood was displaced from an apartment in a Miami Beach property that records show was built in 1925. He said the city official’s decision to evacuate didn’t surprise him.

“We’ve been just going through this struggle for a while,” Mahmood said about the building’s maintenance.

The tragic June 24th partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South building in Surfside prompted building officials in Miami-Dade County to increase audits and inspections of residential properties.

There has been hypervigilance on buildings that are undergoing the recertification process that is required every 40 years. Champlain Towers South was undergoing the process when 12 floors turned into pancaked concrete while residents were sleeping.

The tragedy also caused a ripple effect among the residents of condominium buildings who had maintenance concerns. Some demanded officials inspect their properties. In some cases, officials determined the concerns were unfounded. In others, officials evacuated buildings.

On Friday, about 300 residents of Crestview Towers at 2025 NE 164 St., had hours to evacuate 156 units before midnight in North Miami Beach. City officials said an engineers’ Jan. 11 report warned of safety concerns.

On Saturday, the residents of a two-story building at 1619 Lenox Ave., also had hours to evacuate 24 units in South Beach. Officials said there was a flooring system failure and excessive deflection of an exterior wall.

“Now we’re kicked out and we don’t know what to do ... Apparently, it’s like sinking,” Mahmood’s neighbor Derek Williams said Saturday.

The Miami-Dade Homeless Trust and the American Red Cross were assisting the displaced who had nowhere to go. There was a temporary shelter at Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition at University Park.

“One of those families that stayed down there has a four-month-old and a 1-year-old,” said Ron Book, chairman of the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust, about a decision to transfer families to Rodeway Inn.

In Surfside, some of the residents of the Champlain Towers North and East buildings volunteered to evacuate.

There was a demolition Sunday night of what was left standing of Champlain South at 8777 Collins Ave. The search-and-rescue operation continued Monday morning. The official death toll was at 27 on Monday evening and 118 remained unaccounted for.

Related stories: Safety concerns after building collapse

July 5: Uncertainty surrounds North Miami Beach condo’s safety and when residents can return

July 4: Engineer reports Crestview Towers in North Miami Beach was safe for occupancy, attorney says

July 3: Apartment building in Miami Beach evacuated after structural issues discovered

July 2: North Miami Beach condemns ‘unsafe’ condo, evacuates about 300 residents

July 1

June 30

June 29

June 28: Residential property audit announced by Miami-Dade mayor already underway

June 25: Surfside collapse could have impact on South Florida real estate market

Timeline of a tragedy

Complete coverage: Surfside Building Collapse

Rescue workers handle a tarp containing recovered remains at the site of the collapsed Champlain Towers South condo building, Monday, July 5, 2021, in Surfside, Fla. The remaining structure was demolished Sunday, which partially collapsed June 24. Many people remain unaccounted for. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Coverage on July 5

Rescue workers lift a tarp containing recovered remains at the site of the collapsed Champlain Towers South condo building, Monday, July 5, 2021 in Surfside, Fla. The remaining structure was demolished Sunday, which partially collapsed June 24. Many people remain unaccounted for. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Coverage on July 4

Workers are on the site of the Champlain Towers South condo building, where scores of victims remain missing more than a week after it partially collapsed, Sunday, July 4, 2021, in Surfside, Fla. Demolition teams are preparing to bring down the unstable remainder of the structure ahead of a tropical storm. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Coverage on July 3

In this satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies heavy-lift cranes are used to aid in the search and recovery operation at the partially collapsed Champlain Towers South condo building on Saturday, July 3, 2021, in Surfside, Fla. (Maxar Technologies via AP) (Satellite image ©2021 Maxar Technologies)

Coverage on July 2

Workers load a stretcher with remains extricated from the rubble into a Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner van, near the Champlain Towers South condo building, where scores of people remain missing more than a week after it partially collapsed, Friday, July 2, 2021, in Surfside, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Coverage on July 1

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden visit a memorial wall covered in flowers and photos of the missing Thursday, July 1, 2021, after a condo tower collapsed in Surfside, Fla. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Coverage on June 30

A dog working with search and rescue personnel barks to alert them after sniffing a spot atop the rubble at the Champlain Towers South condo building, where scores of people remain missing almost a week after it partially collapsed, Wednesday, June 30, 2021, in Surfside, Fla. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Coverage on June 29

Search and rescue workers comb the rubble of an oceanfront condo building that collapsed, with many dead and unaccounted for, in Surfside, Fla., Tuesday, June 29, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Coverage on June 28

FILE - In this June 28, 2021, file photo, workers search the rubble at the Champlain Towers South Condo in Surfside, Fla. Search and rescue teams from Miami-Dade have been described as among the best and most experienced in the world. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Coverage on June 27

This aerial image shows an oceanfront condo building that partially collapsed three days earlier, resulting in fatalities and many people still unaccounted for, in Surfside, Fla., Sunday, June 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Coverage on June 26

Rescue workers search the rubble of the Champlain Towers South condominium, Saturday, June 26, 2021, in the Surfside area of Miami. The building partially collapsed on Thursday. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Coverage on June 25

FILE - In this June 25, 2021, file photo, rescue personnel work at the remains of the Champlain Towers South condo building in Surfside, Fla. Harry Rosenberg, a New York City man, bought a beachfront home there to start a new chapter of his life after his wife and parents died. Now he is missing in the collapse of the building outside Miami. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Coverage on June 24

This photo taken from video provided by ReliableNewsMedia, firefighters rescue a survivor from the rubble of the Champlain Towers South Condo after the multistory building partially collapsed in Surfside, Fla., early Thursday, June 24, 2021. (ReliableNewsMedia via AP)

About the Authors:

Amy Viteri is an Emmy Award-winning journalist who joined Local 10 News in September 2015. She's currently an investigative reporter and enjoys uncovering issues facing South Florida communities. A native of the Washington, D.C., area, she's happy to be back in South Florida, where she earned a masters degree at the University of Miami.

Alex Finnie joined the Local 10 News team in May 2018. South Florida is home! She was raised in Miami and attended the Cushman School and New World School of the Arts for high school.