NORTH MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Residents of Crestview Towers in North Miami Beach were given a brief amount of time to go into their apartments and grab essential belongings on Friday.
The building was evacuated last Friday after building officials ordered an immediate closure of the structure.
A week later, one resident per unit was escorted into the building with a police officer where they were allowed 15 minutes to gather valuables.
7News cameras captured residents with filled shopping carts, suitcases, laundry baskets and plastic containers of their personal belongings.
“I ran directly to my supply stuff, my nails stuff, and I just grabbed a bag and started putting everything in,” said resident Nori Morales. “Well, I grabbed one bag for the shoes, one bag for my husband’s clothes, one bag for my clothes, and the rest is for my work.”
Morales said she has been working from home for years but hasn’t made money since she was forced to evacuate.
“I’ve been one week without working since technically I was working from home, so I need to take all of my supplies so I can work,” she said.
Another resident said her mother has been without medication for days.
“She’s a Holocaust survivor, and basically everybody is calling her and worrying about her because she’s 83 years old, and she’s been through a lot,” the woman said. “She has to be safe.”
The evacuation of the building came after the condo association board submitted a 40-year recertification report on Jan. 11. On that date, an engineer retained by the board concluded that the building was structurally and electrically unsafe for people to live there.
A day after the building was evacuated, the condo board had another inspection done that determined the building was safe to live in and that residents could move back in while repairs were made. However, on Thursday, the survey was rejected by the city due to the documents not being in compliance with the 40-year recertification process.
Until repairs are done, officials said, no residents will be allowed to return to their units.
“I didn’t know I was living there like that, but I saw them working on the building all the time; I saw the electrician, the plumbers. I saw them working,” said resident Barbara Jauregui. “Granted, maybe they weren’t doing what they were supposed to ’cause I don’t know what they’re supposed to do. I didn’t know the list. Now that I saw the list, I said, ‘They weren’t doing none of that.'”
“Right now, just wait ’cause they told us it’s going to be two weeks at least, so we’re just going to stay another week at my sister’s, but we’re already looking for places to move,” said resident Darwin Reyes.
Those who live at Crestview Towers had until 4 p.m. to get what they can out of their apartments.
North Miami Beach Police are investigating allegations of misuse of funds from Crestview Towers’ condo association.
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