Miami-Dade County

Children bitten by rats at run-down Little Havana apartment building

Rats bite children at infested Little Havana apartment

At least six children were sent to Jackson Memorial Hospital Thursday night after they were reportedly bitten by rats in a run-down Little Havana building. Paula Laguna talks about her daughter, Arte Laguna, 1, who was bitten by a rat in her apart
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At least six children were sent to Jackson Memorial Hospital Thursday night after they were reportedly bitten by rats in a run-down Little Havana building. Paula Laguna talks about her daughter, Arte Laguna, 1, who was bitten by a rat in her apart

At least six children were sent to Jackson Memorial Hospital Thursday night after they were reportedly bitten by rats in a run-down Little Havana building.

City of Miami inspectors looked over the building at 946 SW Fourth St. and may order its evacuation, said a city commissioner.

“Neither in Miami or anywhere else in the world should people be living in conditions like those,” said Joe Carollo, the city commissioner for the district who visited the building Thursday.

Carollo said he immediately contacted Carlos Migoya, president of the Jackson Health System, which sent several pediatricians to check on the 15 minors living in the building.

Univisión 23, which first made the case public, reported that some of the minors were diagnosed with mange, a skin disease caused by parasites. It’s not clear whether the children sent to Jackson were admitted.

One building resident, Paula Laguna, told Univisión 23 that a rat got into her daughter’s crib and bit her on the arm.

“You can see a hole there” used by the rats, said another resident, Daymara Linarte. “There’s another one that was closed up. You hear them along the walls.”

“This is another example of the huge problem we have (in Miami) with the lack of affordable housing, which leads to abusive landowners and people living in these conditions,” Carollo said.

The building has 24 apartments and 22 are occupied. Property records show it was bought in 2014 by 946 Property Holdings LLC and that it’s valued at $1.2 million.

Records show it has a history of code violations and fines, including some for unsafe structures.

El Nuevo Herald could not contact anyone at 946 Property Holdings LLC on Thursday afternoon.

One Miami Fire Department officer remained at the building while the inspectors looked over the property Thursday, Univisión reported.

Follow Brenda Medinar on Twitter: @BrendaMedinar

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