The Mayor of Surfside is working on a plan to relocate a condo near a collapsed building

The mayor of Surfside, Florida said on Saturday he was working on a plan to temporarily relocate residents of a high-rise condominium built by the same developer as the neighboring apartment building that collapsed earlier in the week .

But Mayor Charles Burkett said he was not yet ready to order everyone in the building to evacuate.

Burkett had requested an emergency inspection of the Champlain North Towers, which were built the same year and by the same developer as the ruined 12-story Champlain South Towers. It’s about 100 yards (about 91 yards) along Collins Avenue, which runs along the Atlantic Ocean north of downtown Miami.

Until then, Burkett had said, he couldn’t tell residents if they were safe in their homes.

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“I know the same building collapsed for some inexplicable reason,” Burkett said. “The buildings in America don’t just fall … Something very, very bad was going on in this building and we have to find out.”

When asked what he would do if he lived in the collapsed building’s twin, Burkett replied, “I would be gone.”

The mayor did not say he would order residents to evacuate. And towards the end of Saturday, Burkett told a news briefing that a city official had conducted a quick review of buildings near the Champlain North and Champlain East towers. He added that the official “found nothing abnormal”.

SURFSIDE, FL – JUNE 25: Aerial view of the collapsed South Champlain Towers on June 25, 2021 in Surfside, Florida. (Photo by Ricky Carioti / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Burkett, meanwhile, said the Federal Emergency Management Agency had agreed to pay for temporary accommodation for residents who agreed to leave. He said it was still not clear where they were going to stay.

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Burkett said city officials are also collecting details of a third building, Champlain Towers East, which is built in a different style and appears to have been built in a different era. Due to the name and its proximity to the other two, the mayor said, officials are keen to determine if there are any safety concerns with this condominium as well.

The south tower, which partially collapsed early Thursday morning, had 136 units, while the north tower had 111, according to records. Both were built in 1981.

Five people have been confirmed dead and 156 are still missing on Saturday morning as a massive search and rescue mission continued – hampered by a deep-rooted fire under the rubble.

SURFSIDE, FLORIDA – JUNE 26: Members of the South Florida Urban Search and Rescue Team search for possible survivors in the partially collapsed 12-story Champlain Towers South condo building on June 26, 2021 in Surfside, in Florida. More than 150 people are be

At a press conference on Saturday morning, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said he spoke with Burkett about concerns about the building’s safety.

RELATED: Search continues on Surfside condo collapse, death toll rises to 5 with 156 missing

“I don’t know if there are any indications that there are issues with this building,” DeSantis said. “But just given the similarities, given the same age, they think it might be something.”

Also on Saturday, authorities also announced that they were starting an audit of buildings approaching their 40-year review – such as the South Champlain Towers that broke down – to make sure they are safe.

SURFSIDE, FLORIDA – JUNE 26: A couple get emotional as they visit pray near the partially collapsed 12-story Champlain Towers South condo building on June 26, 2021 in Surfside, Florida. According to reports, more than 150 people have been reported as

The news followed a 2018 engineering report that showed the building had “major structural damage” to a concrete slab under its pool deck that needed major repairs. It was one of a series of documents published by the Town of Surfside.

The Morabito Consultants report did not warn of imminent danger of damage – and it is not clear whether any of the damage observed was responsible for the collapse – it noted the need for major repairs. and costly to resolve systemic issues with the building.

RELATED: Report showed “major” damage before Florida condo collapsed

SURFSIDE, FLORIDA – JUNE 26: Members of the South Florida Urban Search and Rescue Team search for possible survivors in the partially collapsed 12-story Champlain Towers South condo building on June 26, 2021 in Surfside, in Florida. More than 150 people are be

This included waterproofing under the pool deck, which had been improperly laid flat instead of tilted, preventing water from draining.

Watch FOX 35 Orlando for the latest updates on the Surfside condo collapse.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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