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More Than 200 Evacuated In North Miami After Partial Roof Collapse

NORTH MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- Over 200-people have been displaced after heavy rains seeped all the way down to the first floor of a North Miami building, causing the building to be deemed unsafe.

The Gold King Apartment complex, at 13285 NE 6th Avenue, was having work done that started Christmas Eve, according to Miami Dade Fire Department.

Authorities said that the roofer took all the precautions to secure the roof until workers would be back to finish work.

But due to the recent heavy rains in the area, water seeped into the units causing several fourth-floor apartments' ceilings to collapse, electrical concern, flooding, which prompted an evacuation of the 80-unit apartment building.

All the power has been shut down and the building is "uninhabitable."

"It's been devastating. The ceiling collapsed.  My whole apartment is flooded as well as we lost everything we have nowhere to go," said Alberthe Romain, a mother of two.

"I have all my stuff in there all my clothes in there, but they didn't tell us when we're going to come back," said tenant Marie Aubourg.

Red Cross volunteers worked with city leaders to open a shelter at a Miami Gardens Church to ensure those who have been impacted had a place to spend the night. But many of the displaced tenants, aggravated with the situation, refused go to the shelter provided at the Universal Truth Church at 21310 NW 37 Ave.

"Now they are trying to keep us in the shelter. We're not going to the shelter," said Analia Silencias, a building tenant.

By Thursday night, the Red Cross said 15 of the more than 250 displaced tenants came to the shelter for a hot meal and a place to sleep.  The Red Cross plans to open the shelter for the next 3 or 4 nights.

Tenants have not been allowed to re-enter the building.

The building manager didn't want to speak to CBS4's Gary Nelson but certainly heard a handful from the frustrated tenants.

State records list and owner of the apartments  as Allen Chelminsky. Records show members of the Chelminsky family own a number of apartment and condo buildings.  According to court records, some of those buildings were the subject of foreclosure suits, but the Gold King Apartment building was not one of them.  Chelminsky was not able to be reached at his listed phone number or address Thursday night.


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