At around 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, local police and fire rescue responded to a massive blaze at the two-story, 75-unit complex off U.S. 441. Photos posted to social media in the aftermath show large clouds of gray smoke billowing out of the orange building, whose roof appears charred black. While no fatalities have been reported, and the cause of the fire remains under investigation, fire rescue officials estimate that around half of the apartment units in the complex were destroyed.
More than 100 people who called the apartment home have been displaced. As of Sunday morning, a few dozen residents were staying at the Betty T. Ferguson Recreational Complex in Miami Gardens, courtesy of the American Red Cross. Many lost everything in the fire.
If you'd like to donate items, money, or your time to those impacted, here's how to help:
Break the Cycle
The Miami-based Black cycling group Break The Cycle is collecting donations, such as clothing, shoes, money, toiletries, and other necessities, for the residents affected by the fire.
Donate in person at the BTC lounge at 13300 NW 7th Avenue in Miami or via Cash App.
Global Empowerment Mission (GEM)
Global Empowerment Mission (GEM), a disaster relief nonprofit organization, is raising money on its website for those affected by the fire.
Emily Fullmer, vice president of operations for GEM, tells New Times that the group has distributed more than $20,000 worth of aid so far in the form of cash cards, home goods kids (which include pillows, towels, and bedding), and other boxes with necessities. She says the group plans to use additional donations to provide more of the families with cash cards and relocation assistance.
You can donate here.
At least half a dozen fundraisers have been created on the crowdfunding site GoFundMe in connection with the fire. The crowdfunding campaigns tell stories of several residents at the Miami Gardens apartment complex, including a man who reportedly had to jump out of his window with his dog to escape the flames and a single mom who has been left homeless alongside her son and dog.
- "Apartment complex burn down"
- "Help Ruth Banks and family rebuild"
- "Helping her recover"
- "Lost it all in a fire"
- "Seeking assistance from apartment fire"
- "Chere Herring - Head Start Education Manager
Catholic Charities, a nonprofit social service division of the Archdiocese of Miami, is organizing an area for several agencies to offer assistance to displaced residents, including counseling, food vouchers, and rapid housing. You can donate on their website.
American Red Cross
The Red Cross is looking for volunteers at its local shelters. You can visit here for more information.
Check back for updates.