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Miami Beach Evacuating Devon Apartments Due To Safety Concerns

MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) - A third Miami-Dade residential building is being evacuated in the wake of the partial collapse of Champlain Towers South in Surfside.

Miami Beach has ordered all residents to leave the Devon Apartments by Monday after investigators found structural deficiencies in the 82-year-old building at 69th Street and Indian Creek Drive, although they did say the building is not in danger of collapse.

The two-story, 30-unit building was constructed in 1939, and is two miles from where Champlain Towers South once stood.

Richard Rego and his 12-year-old pug named Nike have lived there in a one-bedroom apartment for the past two years. Now he's been told to leave.

"This is a nice apartment," he said. "It's not a bad apartment."

He told CBS4's Peter D'Oench he was given less than a week's notice.

"It was like a hit in the head," he said. "I mean overnight we were told get out. You got 4 days. That was it. Just get out, with no help from anybody. Just get out. Everybody is in the same boat," he said. "That's just the way it is. This is hardship on everybody. But what are you going to do? I never had a problem with my apartment, not one problem. I had hoped they could fix it up."

He may be better off than others.

"Fortunately, I have an apartment in Little Havana," he said. "My niece is helping me out. I know where I am going at least. I have somewhere to go. Some people had no idea where they are going. They had to go to shelters."

Two other remaining residents evacuated their apartment on Monday, including an elderly man on the first floor.

On the 2nd floor, Alexander Sonnenberg helped his 72-year-old mother move out.

"It's rough just getting a week's notice or 10 days," he said. "But this is for the best. At least she gets to a cleaner place, a better place."

"I was concerned about this building after what happened in Surfside," he said. "But I also was that not that worried. This is just a 2-story building."

Manny Vadillo, an attorney for the owners of the building, said in a statement, "My clients, the owners, have been diligently working with the city officials and tenants." He told CBS4 News that the building had been "fully vacated and secured."

Vadillo said the building will be demolished by December and a new project will take its place,

Two other buildings with residents were evacuated early this month because of alleged structural problems.

Crestview Towers in North Miami Beach was evacuated on July 2nd after the city said it discovered structural and electrical problems. About 300 people had to leave their homes.

On July 3rd, the 24-unit Champs Elysses building at 1619 Lennox Ave. on Miami Beach was also evacuated because of an alleged flooring system failure and "excessive deflection on an exterior wall."

Miami-Dade and cities are taking a close look at buildings that are 40 years and older.

Miami Beach ordered a visual inspection on 507 of its buildings older than 40 years.

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