A member of City of Miami Fire-Rescue has lost his 7-year-old daughter in the Surfside, Florida, building collapse, officials said Friday.
The girl’s remains were recovered Thursday night in the rubble by members of the department’s urban search and rescue team, Chief Joseph Zahralban said in a statement.
The chief asked for privacy for the family and the fire department “while we grieve our loss and support our own.”
Miami-Dade County Fire Chief Alan Cominsky said the firefighter was not part of that rescue process. His task force comrades found the remains and then called him over, Cominsky told reporters.
Florida Task Force 2 (FL-TF2) was working the rescue on Thursday evening.
“When we come across an individual, you know, obviously we pay our respect, we have a process. I’m not going to go into details, but with different religious faiths, we have a process that we started from the very, very beginning, and we comply with that,” Cominsky said.
“I want to emphasize … we do that. We honor all the loved ones that we’ve lost,” said Cominsky.
The death toll in last week’s collapse in the Florida city now stands at 20. The bodies of two other children , ages 4 and 10, have been previously recovered at the site.
The girl’s remains found Thursday were among two victims discovered in the evening, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said.
“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, but last night was uniquely different,” said Cava.
“It was truly different, different and more difficult for our first responders,” the mayor said in a Friday midday briefing.