SURFSIDE, Fla. (AP) – The body of the 7-year-old daughter of a Miami firefighter was found at the site of a condo collapse in South Florida by the search and rescue team that he had helped, officials said on Friday.
The child was one of two victims found in the rubble of the South Champlain towers Thursday evening, a week after the building partially collapsed. Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced on Friday that the death toll now stands at 20, with 128 people still missing in the wreck.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez has confirmed the child, whose name has not been released, is the daughter of a firefighter. He said the family had requested confidentiality.
“She was a member of our firefighting family,” Suarez said, adding that the entire fire department was in mourning.
The Miami Fire Department is part of Task Force 2, which has been involved in the search since the collapse. The firefighter voluntarily joined the search, officials said, hoping he could help locate his daughter and others still missing in the wreckage.
“It goes without saying that every night since last Thursday has been extremely difficult, especially for the families who have been affected,” Levine Cava said at the press conference on Friday morning. “Last night was particularly difficult. It was really different and more difficult for our first responders. These men and women pay a huge human price every day, and I ask you all to keep them in your thoughts and prayers. .
Thursday, President Joe Biden visited the area to give many thanks to those who have worked tirelessly since the collapse.
“What you’re doing here is amazing, having to deal with the uncertainty,” Biden said.
Earlier this week, search teams found the remains of 4-year-old Emma Guara; his sister Lucia, 10 years old; and their parents, Marcus and Anaely Guara, in the wreck. The family had lived in apartment 802.
“Obviously, firefighters are emotional,” said Miami-Dade County Fire Chief Alan Cominsky. “You know it’s expensive. “