Florida Condo Residents Evacuate After Building Deemed 'Structurally and Electrically Unsafe'

·3 min read

google maps Crestview Towers in Miami

Miami officials have ordered the immediate evacuation of a five story high rise after it was deemed "structurally and electrically unsafe."

In the wake of the tragic collapse of Champlain Towers South, the city launched a review of all high-rise buildings over five stories to check if they were in compliance with health and safety guidelines.

The probe led to the immediate evacuation of Crestview Towers Condominium on Friday, after officials obtained an engineer's report dated back to Jan. 11 that showed that the 156-unit building, built in 1973, had failed the county and city's 40-year recertification process.

"In an abundance of caution, the City ordered the building closed immediately and the residents evacuated for their protection, while a full structural assessment is conducted and next steps are determined," North Miami Beach City Manager Arthur H. Sorey, III said in a statement on Friday. "Nothing is more important than the safety and lives of our residents, and we will not rest until we ensure this building is 100% safe."

google maps Crestview Towers in Miami

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Police Chief Richard Rand told residents during evacuation on Friday, "The last thing I want to do is need to find out that another building collapsed, and multiple people are dead," according to the New York Times.

"It's just the right thing to do during these times," City Manager Sorey told reporters. "A lot of residents are upset. But everyone does understand why we have to do this."

Residents, who were photographed moving out on Friday, expressed concerns about evacuation amid approaching Hurricane Elsa. Per the press release, the city is "working with the American Red Cross to find temporary shelter for displaced residents who do not have somewhere else to stay."

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Any structural and electric problems at the Crestview Towers Condominium have to be fixed before residents are allowed back in.

The Crestview Towers condo association board told the Washington Post they thought the engineer who did the report in January was supposed to submit it to the city and they didn't find out about the safety issues until now.

Mariel Tollinchi, an attorney representing the condo association, told the outlet repairs have been made to the building over the past two years. The newly recommended fixes would cost nearly $10 million, which they believe is unreasonable.

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"There's just no way a homeowner is going to cough up $100,000 to make repairs to their home while they're not even living in their home and having to incur the expenses of living outside," Tollinchi said.

Crestview Towers Condominium is nearly 7 miles away from Champlain Towers South — where the death toll continues to rise due to the collapse.

A total of 126 people are still missing, as of Friday night. There have been no rescues since the first hours after the June 24 collapse.