MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Heavy overnight rain is most likely to blame for a partial roof collapse at a coin laundry business in Miami strip mall.
Police said just before 4 a.m. they received a call about an alarm at the mall, they initially thought it was a burglary.
When officers arrived at the plaza on the northeast corner of 4731 W. Flagler St, they found the partial collapse.
The owner of the laundry business said there were several inches of water inside and believes the weight of the rain caused the roof failure.
"I got a call from the alarm (company) and they were the ones that advised me that there was a problem. I thought it was a burglary when I first heard it but it wasn't," said Elicer Gallerdo.
"We looked through the camera and we were seeing debris and water," said Gallerdo's wife Amarelys.
"We noticed right away the roof had collapsed. A lot of water, about three inches of rain and as soon as I opened the door the water started coming out. I don't know the extent of the damage but as far as the roof it is really bad," said Gallerdo.
Daniel Zeldon owns a Mexican restaurant in the plaza.
"We open eight months ago in the middle of the pandemic. My family said lets go for it. My wife is a chef, I'm a chef. We say hey lets go open up a family business and now, today, we're surprised we're not going to be able to open," he said.
Due to the collapse, the structural integrity of the building was called into question and building inspectors were called out to assess the damage.
Zelson stood by as Miami Fire Rescue and city building inspectors used a ladder truck to get a bird's eye view of the damage.
Within an hour, inspectors had condemned the entire building, all eight businesses. Something that Zeldon had feared would happen.
The building owner is now required to hire a private engineer to inspect, devise a plan for repairs and then submit it to the city.
"If by any chance inspectors come in and say that we have to rebuild the whole structure, we're looking at having to disconnect electricity and we're going to lose a lot of merchandise," he said.
After repairs are made, the engineer must certify each business and then send a letter to the city saying it is safe to open.
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