MIAMI GARDENS – A meeting inside a temporary shelter got heated Monday morning, two days after a fire erupted inside a condominium building in Miami Gardens, displacing dozens of residents.

“They don’t care! They raised my motherf***ing rent -- I don’t appreciate that!” one resident said. “So what the hell she mean? I don’t know about any damn assessment!”

The temporary shelter is now housing displaced families following the Saturday morning fire near the 39500 block of Northwest 177th Street.

“As previously advised, there’s no property fire coverage in place,” the property manager told residents.

The property manager said the complex did not have an existing fire insurance after their previous policy lapsed following the building’s 40-year certification inspection.

“There was no insurance because the insurance company required the 40-year recertification to be done,” the property manager said. “In order to do that, there needed to be a special assessment, and it was not approved.”


That decision, she says, was made by the building’s board of directors who supposedly notified owners in a letter.

But some residents — including those who rent — say they never received it.

“Once you pay your HOA fees, insurance is included in the HOA fees,” resident Cordinal Andrews said. “OK, and we didn’t have any insurance. We’re not responsible for that, she’s responsible for that.”

“I’m so angry -- we’re angry!” another resident, Valerie Hunter, added.

Hunter and other residents say they were paying assessment fees, most recently to complete repairs to the building’s roof.

“That’s when we find out we cannot sell,” Hunter said. “We don’t have any insurance on the building for months, for years -- she doesn’t tell us anything!”

Following a tense back-and-forth, the property manager left the meeting and did not want to speak to Local 10 News.

“She is saying that she’s been trying to get the owners to pay different assessment fees, and the owners rejected it,” Andrews said. “But the owners have no control over that -- she is the one responsible for managing.”

According to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue officials, 75 units inside the building were affected.

“Of those 75, we’re projecting approximately half were destroyed as a result of the partial collapse of the roof, coupled with water damage and smoke and fire damage,” Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief Ray Jadallah said.

The American Red Cross and the Global Empowerment Mission are assisting those who have been displaced.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.