MIAMI (AP/WSVN) – A massive fire broke out Monday morning at a four-story apartment building in Miami, prompting the evacuation of more than 50 people.

Firefighters and police officers arrived at the building just west of Interstate 95 near downtown Miami around 8:15 a.m. Monday after receiving calls about a fire, and began rescuing residents from the building’s balconies, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said during a press conference. Firefighters surrounded the building and coordinated their attack on the west side while evacuating residents from the east.

“We had about 126 firefighters, men and women from the fire department, who fought this fire for about eight hours,” Suarez said.

Suarez also said arriving first responders at the scene also found a man with gunshot wounds. He was taken to a hospital where he was in critical condition. Officials said the shooting is part of an active investigation.

A suspect in the shooting, later identified as 73-year-old Juan Francisco Figueroa, was in custody and charged with felony charges including possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and attempted murder.

Three firefighters were transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital due to heat exhaustion and were in stable condition, Suarez said at a news conference. Two have since been fired, said Lt. Pete Sanchez, a spokesman for the City of Miami-Fire Rescue. In addition, at least one resident was treated for smoke inhalation, he said.

The gunshot victim, later identified as 30-year-old Feder-One Biotte, was listed as critical.

Atlantic Housing Management, the company that manages the Temple Court apartments, said in a statement that one of its employees was found shot in the complex.

“We are still determining the cause of these events and checking for other injuries. The police are investigating and we will assist in any way we can,” the management company said. “We are saddened by everything that happened today, and our thoughts and prayers are with our team member and his family and residents of the Temple Court community.”

7Skyforce showed flames rising from the building, along with large plumes of smoke, several hours after the fire started. At least two ladder trucks poured water and foam onto the building.

The fire forced crews into a defensive mode, working from outside the building and using the nearby Miami River to shoot gallons of water onto the structure to battle the flames.

The apartment complex consists of one-bedroom studios and is located near the Miami River. The flames spread through the historic 1920s wood-frame building, causing significant damage and causing the roof to collapse.

“It was a wooden frame structure which explains the intensity,” Sánchez said.

Early this evening, Sanchez said the fire was “under control and no longer spreading, but the fire still needs to be extinguished.”

Residents of the building, many of them elderly, were taken to a staging area in Jose Marti Park, where they were offered food and any medicine they needed, Suarez said. The fire brigade evacuated more than fifty people.

Miami Fire Rescue and other volunteers are bringing cots as part of an all-hands-on-deck approach to help the dozens of residents who lost everything in the fire. Every person was taken into account.

“We have 43 people in Jose Marti Park and the property management company is renting a hotel after tonight for all 43 of them to stay for the next two weeks,”

Staff members from Miami-Dade County Commissioner Keon Hardeman’s office drop supplies for the displaced.

“In the bag we have blankets, water, water bottles, after a long day where they didn’t have any coverings or anything warm,” said Mandy Brown with the commissioner’s office.

The American Red Cross has also been called in to provide additional housing for affected residents.

“Our hope is that we can place them in permanent housing as soon as possible,” Suarez said. “It’s clear that people are very emotional. They may not be able to get anything out of those units. Some worry about their pets. It was very disturbing, very traumatic.”

Smoke from the fire also drifted over Interstate 95 and much of downtown Miami.

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