Resident mistakes firefighters for burglar, shoots at them through door

North Miami apartment building catches fire

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor, Erica Rakow - Reporter

NORTH MIAMI, Fla. - A resident at a North Miami apartment building that caught fire early Wednesday shot at firefighters, believing that someone was burglarizing his home, News 6 partner WPLG-TV reported.

The fire started about 3 a.m. at La Castellana apartments near Northeast 135th Street and Northeast Seventh Avenue.

Dozens of residents were forced out of their homes because of the dryer fire on the second floor.

Many residents heard the fire alarm and got out before firefighters arrived.

While firefighters were knocking on doors and checking for any residents who might have still been inside, a disabled man in a wheelchair on the fourth floor thought someone was breaking in and fired three shots through the door, the man's caregiver told WPLG-TV.

"We knocked, identified ourselves and, even if there's no answer, we forced the doors, causing some damage to the doors, just to make sure that there was nobody inside of the structures," Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Lt. Felipe Lay said.

Nobody was injured, however, and the man was not expected to be charged.

Firefighters monitored the carbon monoxide levels in the apartment building before allowing residents to return.

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