Condemned, But Not Vacant, Florida Apartment Burns

An apartment building that was condemned after Hurricane Wilma caught fire Sunday night, but Local 10 has learned that people were still living there.

As many as 10 families were living in the three-story apartment building at 14430 N.E. 5th Place despite being told to leave two weeks ago by Miami-Dade County firefighters because of unsafe living conditions.

The families told Local 10's Alex Alvarez that they stayed behind because they had no place else to go.

Firefighters believe the fire started on the third floor or attic. Everyone inside was able to get out safely, but that didn't ease the heartache for the already devastated families who watched from the street as what little they had left burned before their eyes.

Wilda Lang's mother hadn't been living in the building since it was condemned. Her daughter brought her to the building so she could collect a few things, but she didn't get there soon enough.

The fire marshal is working to determine the cause of the inferno.

The American Red Cross, meanwhile, is assisting the displaced families.

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