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Miami apartment complex that burned for hours, displaced more than 40 residents to be demolished

Residents of burned Miami apartment building wish they could retrieve personal items
Residents of burned Miami apartment building wish they could retrieve personal items 02:40

MIAMI - Officials with the City of Miami announced Monday that the Temple Court Apartment building complex will be demolished Tuesday morning following a massive fire that displaced more than 40 residents last week. 

The complex, located at 431 NW 3 Street, was partially destroyed during the blaze and "poses an imminent risk of collapse," officials said.

They also said that due to structural safety concerns, former residents will not be able to retrieve their personal items.

Residents of a Miami apartment building destroyed in fire are not allow to retrieve belongings 02:07

Some of those residents are asking, begging anyone who would listen to please let them go in to get their things. They say all they need is just a few minutes inside the building they once called home.

"I lost pretty much…. All my belongings in there," said Joel Enrique. "I need only one minute…not these minutes."

At Motel 6, which has become the temporary home for the dozens of residents, they say it's like they are being devastated for a second time.

"No good, no good. Too. Much nervous… what going to make it tomorrow."

One resident, Francisco Murado, drove back to the apartments begging police to let him in.

"Passport, Medicare….todos," Murado said.

Francisco is saying he understands the danger while pointing to apartments he can see aren't burned. Including his. That third-floor balcony was his home.

The demolition is set to begin Tuesday at 7 am.

Displaced residents continue to live at the Doral motel until more permanent housing becomes available. 

CBS News Miami spoke with one resident who said, "We are more calm. Thank you to everyone who made everything possible."

Over 40 people, most being senior citizens on Section 8 Housing, lost their entire lives in front of their eyes. 

Felicia Fernandez recalls, "The doors opening and the window and the fire coming. And we go to the other building. People living on the other side. Second floor and the fire. I was scared."

One resident says she's lost 23 years of her life in that apartment. 

"What you see me with is all I have left." 

The apartment complex was also a crime scene on the day of the fire.

Feder Biotte, 30, was a maintenance worker who was shot on the roof just before the fire began. His godfather sent us photos saying he has had three surgeries with a fourth one planned. He is still intubated and cannot speak.

Biotte's family says they have no idea why he was even shot and why the building was set on fire. 

Juan Figeroa, 73, the man police say has confessed to setting the fire remains in jail. He faces attempted murder and arson charges. He lived there.

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