Cuban Singer María Antonieta Loses Everything in Miami Apartment Fire

Tuesday, June 11, 2024 by Grace Ramos

Cuban singer María Antonieta Fernández was among those displaced by a devastating fire that engulfed a Miami apartment building on Monday morning. "I have lost everything in the fire," she lamented.

"I am really very nervous and extremely worried," she said in an interview that same Monday with journalist Ninoska Pérez for the radio station La Nueva Poderosa, while the building was still ablaze. The artist had to flee her home in pajamas, unable to save anything, including the computer containing all her artistic materials and recordings.

María Antonieta explained that she was in the bathroom when the fire started, and smoke quickly filled her apartment as the blaze erupted nearby. She expressed gratitude to God and the swift action of emergency services that prevented any fatalities.

"The firefighters knocked on doors, checking and helping those who couldn't evacuate on their own," she detailed.

Despite the tragedy, María Antonieta has received significant support from friends and family. "I have many friends who have offered to help me with clothes and shoes, and I am infinitely grateful," she said. Currently without a permanent place to stay, she relies on the community's solidarity.

Continuing Despite the Tragedy

María Antonieta mentioned she has a scheduled performance at Alfaros nightclub on Friday night, which she intends to honor despite the life-altering incident. "I have a gig on Friday at Alfaros, and I won't keep the audience waiting," she affirmed, adding that with the help of her musical director and producer, she is preparing for the show.

"I am 'La Leona de Cuba' and will continue to be 'La Leona' until God calls me to his domain," proclaimed the artist, who has been residing in Miami since 2012. María Antonieta, who recently celebrated 50 years of her artistic career with a show at Alfaros in Little Havana, even live-streamed the arrival of firefighters and emergency services.

In a social media post, she expressed sorrow over not knowing the whereabouts of her cat since the fire.

The fire at Temple Court apartments near downtown Miami prompted a rapid response from the Miami Fire Department around 8:15 a.m. on June 10th. Upon arrival, firefighters managed to rescue residents stranded on balconies.

Francis Suárez, working with the Red Cross, helped quickly provide displaced individuals with hot meals, medication, and temporary shelter options at the "José Martí" gymnasium for those unable to stay with family or friends.

City Commissioner Manolo Reyes stated that a $250 gift card for food and essential toiletries would be given to each person entering the Miami shelters. Elderly residents affected by the fire will receive assistance for their immediate needs.

A man found with a gunshot wound at the building's entrance was identified as an employee of Atlantic Housing Management, the company managing the apartments. The victim was transported to a nearby hospital and remains in critical condition, according to Local 10 news.

The identity of the alleged shooter, a 73-year-old man named Juan Francisco Figueroa with a criminal history, was revealed. Figueroa, previously sentenced for second-degree murder in 1992, now faces charges including attempted murder with a firearm, felony, and arson.

The blaze, which lasted at least five hours, caused a partial collapse of the building's west roof, despite the heavy rain during the emergency.

Details of the Miami Apartment Fire

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding the fire at Temple Court apartments and its impact on the residents, including María Antonieta Fernández.

What caused the fire at Temple Court apartments?

The fire was allegedly started intentionally by a 73-year-old man named Juan Francisco Figueroa, who has a criminal history including a previous murder conviction.

How did María Antonieta Fernández respond to the fire?

María Antonieta Fernández was forced to evacuate her apartment in pajamas and lost all her belongings, including her artistic materials. She expressed deep concern but also gratitude for the support from friends and family.

What assistance was provided to the displaced residents?

The displaced residents received hot meals, medication, and temporary shelter organized by Francis Suárez and the Red Cross. Additionally, City Commissioner Manolo Reyes announced that gift cards for essential items would be distributed to those in shelters.

© CubaHeadlines 2024

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