Grieving firefighter recovers his own child’s body from rubble of Florida condo collapse

Grieving firefighter recovers his own child’s body from rubble of Florida condo collapse

July 2, 2021

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A Miami firefighter working at the site of the Florida building collapse Thursday was among a crew of search workers who recovered the remains of his own daughter, officials said Friday.

The grieving father wrapped the 7-year-old victim of last week’s Champlain Towers collapse in his jacket and placed a small US flag on the gurney, according to WPLG-TV. The child’s uncle was also among the rescuers.

“It goes without saying that every night since this last Wednesday has been immensely difficult for everybody, and particularly the families that have been impacted,” Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Friday.

“But last night was uniquely different,” Cava said. “These men and women are paying an enormous human toll each and every day.”

The discovery was made Thursday evening. Neither the young collapse victims nor her dad were identified by officials.

A row of cops and firefighters lined a road near the building site as the dad, his brother and other first responders took the body off the pile, WPLG said.

“We can confirm that a member of our City of Miami Fire Department family has lost his 7-year-old daughter in the collapse,” Miami Fire Rescue Chief Joseph Zahralban told the station. “She was recovered last night by members of our Urban Search and Rescue Team, Florida Task Force 2.”

“We ask that you respect the privacy of the immediate family as well as our fire department family while we grieve our loss and support our own,” he said.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis addressed the girl’s death during the briefing, saying that “these are tough things” for the workers to deal with.

“Obviously we focus on the families and rightfully so, but our folks have gone through a lot that are out there,” the governor said.

The discovery of the youngster and another victims brought the official death toll to 20, with 128 people still missing.

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