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A resident of the doomed Florida condo said his girlfriend persuaded him to stay at her place on the night of the deadly collapse — a “miracle” that he credits with saving his life.
“Only by God. To me this is a miracle,” Champlain Towers South resident Erick de Moura, 40, told Reuters.
“It’s a very sad moment. Very confusing,” he said. “It’s very tough to get in touch with my emotions right now.”
De Moura said that he cooked a traditional Brazilian dish in his 10th floor, two-bedroom apartment to bring to his girlfriend Fernanda Figueiredo’s house Wednesday for dinner with friends.
Following dinner, the group played a pickup soccer game and de Moura’s clothes became wet when he went to retrieve a ball that fell in a canal in his girlfriend’s backyard.
“I said, ‘I’m going to go home because I’m going to the gym tomorrow morning and I have nothing to wear here,’” he said. “I was saying goodbye and she said ‘Why don’t you stay?’”
De Moura said he stayed with his girlfriend drinking beers until around 1 a.m. and fell asleep around the time that his apartment building collapsed to the ground.
He woke up around 5:30 a.m. to texts and calls including one from Rochelle, a doorman supervisor at his building, the Washington Post reported.
“Oh, my God, you’re alive,” Rochelle said de Moura called her back, the paper reported.
Rochelle then explained to him that the building had crumbled to the ground and sent him a photo of the debris, the outlet reported.
“I had goose bumps. My heart was pounding. I got dressed and rushed to the building,” he told Reuters.
De Moura said he’s still grappling with how close that he came to death.
“For me, for Fernanda, this is definitely a miracle,” de Moura told the Washington Post. “This is an act by God.”
With Post wires
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