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Miami Gardens Apartment Building Received Multiple Citations Before Fire


Sometimes fires happen accidentally, but in some cases, they can be prevented. Fires often occur due to negligence, such as building code violations that are ignored.

This was the case for the New World Condominiums, which caught fire on the morning of January 28. The Miami Gardens apartment building had received 21 citations before a fire destroyed the building and left almost 200 residents displaced.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue responded to the fire at New World Condominiums, located at Northwest 177th Street. The fire damaged 75 apartments and caused the second floor of half of the building to collapse. Although nobody was injured, those residents were left without a home.

According to Red Cross officials, 39 displaced residents have been staying at the Betty T. Ferguson Recreational Complex while they find a more permanent solution. More than 100 displaced residents remain in shelters. They are receiving assistance and donations so they can have the bare necessities.

It’s a tragic situation for residents, as many are facing financial difficulties as they live paycheck to paycheck. Many have lost everything. Due to the extensive fire damage, the cause of the fire is still undetermined at this time. However, one issue is that the condo’s fire alarm system wasn’t working before the fire ignited.

To add insult to injury, the building manager told occupants that the condominium association had no fire insurance, since owners declined to pay a special assessment for a 40-year recertification.

An August 2021 report showed the building was deemed structurally and electrically safe for use. The building’s permit inspection history showed a current permit for the roof, but the inspection partially passed. One unit owner said there was a special assessment passed for the roof, but not for the recertification.

Since 2010, the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue has issued 21 citations to the New World Condominiums for fire code violations. The most recent one was in May 2021. About half of all those code enforcement cases remain open.

In 2022, the condominium association was found guilty of five fire code violations that were discovered in 2020. It was ordered to pay more than $21,000 for those violations. The violations have not been corrected and the association has not appealed.

In the meantime, lingering questions remain. For example, could the city have done more to ensure the building was safer? Most likely, yes.

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The Florida building code sets minimum standards for health and safety. When a building violates the code, it can be a safety issue for occupants. As seen in this case, it can cause a fire.

If a building code has been violated and has caused you to suffer damages, contact a Lakeland building code violation lawyer from Ruel Law Firm. We can maximize the possible compensation for damage caused by a negligent building owner or contractor. To schedule a consultation with our office, fill out the online form or call (833) RUEL-LAW.