MIAMI — A grieving Miami firefighter who is working the site of the Champlain Towers collapse was among a crew of workers Thursday that recovered the remains of his own daughter, according to reports.
During the solemn moment, a row of first responders — firefighters and police officers — lined a road near the building site as the firefighter-father, his brother (the child’s uncle who was also present) and other rescue workers removed the body off the pile, WPLG-TV reported. .
The lamenting father wrapped the 7-year-old child in his jacket and placed a small American flag on the gurney, according to news outlet.
“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 requested.
As per the request, the identity of the firefighter and his daughter were not made known following the Thursday night discovery, New York Post reported.
“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 of the girl and other victims brought the official death toll to 20, with 128 people still missing.