OPA-LOCKA – Phylicia Monroe said she was working from her apartment on Friday in Opa-locka. It was quiet until there was an explosion and a fire at a neighboring apartment.
Investigators said the impact of the explosion on the third floor traveled down to the two apartments below and blew out low-bearing walls.
“I heard this big ‘BOOM’ and my son came in,” Monroe said. “We heard the fire alarms go off.”
Assistant Chief Ray Jadallah said one person was injured and needed to be hospitalized. About 100 people had to evacuate the building at 2281 NW 135 St. Three units and the elevator shaft will likely be condemned and structural engineers will have to inspect the building.
“Some gas was leaking from a stovetop that traveled down the walls. At some point, one of the occupants went to ignite the stovetop causing an explosion,” Jadallah said.
Steven Moss, 14, said he and his family ran out of their apartment. He said they heard the explosion and felt the structure shake.
“I thought the building was going to collapse on top of me,” Steven said.