NORTH MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – A fire erupted Monday morning at the Crestview Towers condominium building in North Miami Beach, which was recently deemed to be an unsafe structure.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Christopher True told Local 10 News that the fire was reported at 4:21 a.m. at the building at 2025 NE 164th St., and crews arrived to find smoke and flames coming from a second-floor unit.
He said crews searched the 10-story building as a precaution to make sure no was inside, but they did not find anyone except for the private security guard who was patrolling the building and who called 911 to report that he was smelling smoke.
“Anytime you have a building, you don’t know if someone snuck back in. You don’t know, so we still have to go ahead and search it,” he said.
Because of the existing structural concerns, the battalion chief said crews had to attack the fire differently than usual, and rather than gaining access from inside the building, they had to go in through the unit’s balcony.
He said the flames were contained to the unit where the fire originated.
Residents of Crestview Towers were forced to abandon their homes last month after structural and electrical issues were found at the building. A county inspection turned up significant damage under the pool deck and a cracked support column.
Residents have since been able to go back inside for limited time frames to collect their belongings.
The future of the building remains unclear.
According to North Miami Beach Mayor Anthony DeFillipo, engineers are working on the building and there’s no timeline for when it could reopen. He said the faster the condo association complies with correcting the violations, the faster the doors can reopen.
The cause of Monday’s fire remains under investigation.
Firefighters did not immediately say which unit the fire erupted inside of, or where inside of the unit the fire originated.