Man found shot after fire breaks out at Miami apartment building; suspect arrested


MIAMI — Authorities found a man suffering gunshot wounds Monday while responding to a large fire that sparked at an apartment complex in Miami, Mayor Francis Suarez said.

Firefighters responded to multiple calls reporting a fire at the building, next to Loomis Park in downtown Miami, around 8:15 a.m., Suarez said at a news conference. Responding officials found the injured man and took him to a hospital, where he was in critical condition, The Associated Press reported.

Update 6:56 p.m. EDT June 10: Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said a suspect has been arrested, the Miami Herald reported. According to police, the suspect shot the victim and ignited the fire. The suspect’s name or the name of the man he allegedly shot has not been released, according to the newspaper.

The three-alarm fire at the 61-unit building is one of the worst blazes in the city in decades, Suarez told reporters.

During a news conference Monday evening, Suarez said the fire displaced 43 people. The mayor added that the property’s management company has provided hotel accommodations for those people, according to the Herald.

-- Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Original report: Authorities said it was not immediately clear whether the man’s injuries were self-inflicted. However, officials stressed at a news conference that the incident appeared to be isolated and no gunman was believed to be at large.

Management officials at Temple Court apartments identified the injured man as an employee, WTVJ reported.

“We are still determining the cause of these events, and we are checking for other injuries. Police are investigating, and we will help in whatever ways we can,” management said in a statement to the news station. “We are grieved by all that has happened today, and our thoughts and prayers are with our team member and his family and residents of the Temple Court community.”

One resident was taken to a hospital for smoke inhalation and three firefighters were hospitalized in stable condition, the Miami Herald reported.

As the fire burned, firefighters rescued several people from the four-story apartment building, including some who were saved from their balconies, according to Suarez and the AP. It was not immediately clear how many people live in the building or if any remained missing Monday afternoon.

The three-alarm blaze was the largest seen in Miami in at least 25 years, Suarez said, adding that firefighters “have come outside the building to fight the fire from the outside in.”

At a news conference hours after the fire broke out on Monday, Miami Fire Rescue public information officer Lt. Pete Sánchez said, “We went to a defensive strategy because it is too dangerous for firefighters to work inside at this point.”

The mayor highlighted that “a fire of this magnitude is extremely dangerous.”

“(Firefighters) are trying to contain it in a section of the building and hope that it doesn’t spread to any other buildings,” he said.

It remained unclear Monday afternoon what sparked the fire.

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