Children hospitalized for rat bites inside Little Havana apartment

MIAMI (WSVN) - At least six children were hospitalized after rats bit them inside a Little Havana apartment building.

Residents inside the apartment building at 946 SW 4th St. may be ordered out, Friday, due to the rodent attacks.

Arte, who is 15 months old, was bitten by a rat now suffers from a fever and scabies, according to the toddler’s mother, apartment resident Paula Laguna.

“I hear, ‘squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak,’ but all the time. You hear it in the house,” said Laguna. “I never think it’s in the crib.”

Laguna took 7News inside the bedroom to show the holes left behind by the rodents. “I put this on the wall to close it a little bit, for the rats,” she said.

Laguna said that they have become accustomed to roaches and rats in their building, but it’s never been like this.

“The hole is small, but the rat is this size,” Laguna said holding up her hands to show the size.

Taymara Linarte, who also lives in the building, said nurses responded to the scene on Thursday. “Nurses from Jackson [Memorial Hoospital] came. They checked all the children out, and they sent the ones with the worst case possible,” she said.

Residents said they’ve known conditions in the building were bad, but they didn’t realize they were living in danger.

City of Miami officials said the building has a long history of code violations. They said living conditions are so bad inside that it may be demolished, and they also called it a fire risk.

“Yesterday the commissioner goes, ‘Yeah, it’s been condemned for like a year or two,’ I was like, ‘What?'” Linarte said. “All of a sudden, we find out this place is condemned, and we have no where to go at all.”

Meanwhile residents have been paying rent, which in some units is $1,050 a month.

They said the property owner has done nothing to fix the problems and won’t give them their money back. “The answer she told me is, ‘You need to leave,'” said Laguna.

While city officials sort through what they plan to do about the building, residents have been left wondering what’s next for their homes.

“We don’t know where we’re going to go,” said Linarte. “We need help. This needs to be resolved.”

7News reached out to the building manager who declined to comment. The building’s owner did not respond either.

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