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North Miami Beach building deemed unsafe, evacuations ordered

A Jan. 11 report on the Crestview Towers condominium complex said it "was structurally and electrically unsafe."
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Evacuations were ordered Friday for residents of a North Miami Beach, Florida, condominium complex after building officials determined it was unsafe.

The Crestview Towers Condominium, built in 1972, was the subject of a Jan. 11 recertification report in which an engineer said the 156-unit complex "was structurally and electrically unsafe," according to a statement Friday from the city of North Miami Beach.

That report was brought to the attention of the North Miami Beach Building and Zoning Department by complex management on Friday as officials sought to review the structural integrity of all city condo high-rises above five stories in the wake of the June 24 collapse of Champlain Towers South in nearby Surfside.

Image: Crestview Tower Evacuation
A resident of the Crestview Towers Condominium carries some belongings as he leaves the building deemed unsafe, in the city of North Miami Beach, Fla., on July 2, 2021.Giorgio Viera / AFP - Getty Images

The zoning department "ordered the immediate closure and evacuation of Crestview Towers Condominium" as a result, it said. A city building official went to the complex Friday and confirmed its questionable condition, the city said.

Aerial footage from NBC South Florida showed the complex as a three-pronged high-rise structure.

Capt. Juan Pinillos of North Miami Beach police confirmed that officers were overseeing evacuations. "The police department is making every effort to ensure the residents in those buildings are evacuated safely efficiently," he said by email.

City Manager Arthur H. Sorey III said in the city's statement that the evacuations were being made "in an abundance of caution."

A more in-depth assessment of the structure's integrity will be conducted, he said.

"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," Sorey said.

A special city commission meeting has been called Saturday to discuss the complex.

On Wednesday, residents of a central Florida condominium complex were forced to relocate after Osceola County officials said 72 units in multiple buildings were safety threats at Images Condominiums in Kissimmee, about 20 miles south of Orlando.

An engineering report determined that walkways could collapse, prompting county officials to order "immediate action," according to an Osceola County statement.