Families Desperate To Find Missing Loved Ones After Partial Surfside Building Collapse
MIAMI (CBSMiami) - A fire broke out Thursday afternoon at the partially collapsed Surfside building.
The fire broke out on the north side of the Champlain Towers, located at 8777 Collins Avenue.
No word on what may have started the fire.
CBS4 cameras showed fire engines dousing the blaze inside the building.
The blaze comes after a horrifying collapse that has families desperate to find their loved ones.
"I found out that my nephew was here with his wife and 3 children, 2,6 and 9," said Yuby Cartes as she fought back tears. She said they were visiting, "they have an apartment there…1010 looking at the ocean," she said.
Cartes is holding out hope their her nephew and his family are okay. Their vacation condo is in part of the building that fell. "It's unbelievable. Everything comes to your mind except positive things. You just believe in God and let God guide you," she said.
She's not alone in her grief and desperation.
Many families are showing up at the scene, hoping to learn good news.
Wendy Jean Louis takes care of an elderly person in the building.
"I have an entire family in there that, one of them I take care of and the entire rest of the family is in there. I can see there is no more there," Jean Louis said.
And there are stories of hope.
Nicolas Balboa ran to the rescue after that collapse. In just moments he saw a little boy who was trapped in the heap of debris.
"I could hear somebody yelling in the debris," Balboa said.
"What he was actually saying was, 'can you see my hand, can you see my hand?' And I could see a little hand sticking up waving, moving his fingers trying to get our attention," he said.
As he tried to get the attention of rescuer's he began climbing debris to get to the child.
"We were there, we were letting him know we were there. He said 'please don't leave me, please don't leave me!' We wouldn't leave him," he said.
Rescuers were able to reach him and save the little boy.
We're still waiting to find out what happened to his mom. But Nicholas said that child appeared to be okay when he was pulled from the rubble.
"He looked fairly alright, like very lucky. He had a guardian angel, for sure."
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