Family Identifies Firefighter’s 7-Year-Old Killed In Collapse

Family Identifies Firefighter’s 7-Year-Old Killed In Collapse

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5 hr 12 min agoFamily identifies firefighter’s daughter who was killed in collapseFrom CNN’s Natasha Chen

Graciela and Stella Cattarossi  Courtesy Nicole MejiasNicole Mejias said five of her family members were in the Champlain Towers South building when it collapsed.

Mejias told CNN that Stella Cattarossi, 7, was found deceased in the rubble along with her mother, Graciela Cattarossi. Stella’s father is a City of Miami firefighter.

Three more family members are still missing: Stella’s grandparents Gino and Graciela Cattarossi, and Stella’s aunt, Andrea Cattarossi. Mejias said that Andrea was visiting the family from Argentina, where she has three sons. Stella and her mother had been living with Gino and Graciela Cattarossi for about seven years, according to Mejias.

Mejias is the niece of Andrea and the younger Graciela, Stella’s mother.

“We just miss them so much already, we wish this tragedy didn’t happen, and will always remember them,” Mejias said.

6 hr 23 min agoDeveloper of high rise near condo offered $400,000 amid complaints over constructionFrom CNN’s David Shortell

The developer behind a high-rise recently erected next door to the Champlain Towers South building had offered the Surfside tower’s condominium board $400,000 amid complaints over the construction.

Under the agreement sent by the group behind the luxury building known as Eighty Seven Park, residents of Champlain Towers South would have had to release the developer from liability and the condominium board would have had to publicly support the development in letters sent to the town of Surfside and Miami Beach, where Eighty Seven Park was being built, in exchange for the payment, according to a person familiar with the matter. 

The agreement was presented in 2019, according to the Washington Post, who first reported on it. 

It was never signed by the Champlain Towers South condominium board, Max Marcucci, a spokesperson for the board, told CNN. 

In the days since the collapse, the construction on the neighboring building has generated scrutiny as experts work to determine the cause of the tragedy. Champlain residents have said that the construction would regularly cause their units to shake, and in a series of emails released by the town of Surfside, residents complained of debris from the project littering their building.

On Friday, Robert McKee, an attorney for one of the Champlain Towers South residents suing the condominium board, suggested in a court hearing that the civil plaintiffs should investigate the neighboring building, calling the developer “a potential significant possible defendant.”

CNN has reached out to the developer behind Eighty Seven Park for comment on the proposed agreement.

7 hr 8 min agoMiami-Dade County mayor says there is no exact time frame for the demolitionFrom CNN’s Claudia Dominguez

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava speaks at a press conference in Surfside, Florida, on July 3, 2021. Michael Reaves/Getty ImagesMiami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said that there is no exact timeframe for the demolition of the building that is still standing to start in a press conference on Saturday.

“Engineers are on-site and they’re still conducting their due diligence, so we don’t have an exact time frame at this time,” the mayor said.Levine Cava said that CDI Control Demolition, Inc. would be the company in charge of the demolition and that they have done other large demolitions.

Miami-Dade County Fire Chief Alan Cominsky said that they were finalizing the demolition plan.

“We’ll have them go through the site to determine exactly the process that they want,” Cominsky said. “It will be a several-hour process in regards to setting up for what needs to occur and then we’ll be able to regain the search and rescue efforts.” 

Cominsky also said that areas that have already been searched will be covered before the demolition so rescue teams can know what was searched and what other new debris that would possibly fall in that direction could be removed.

“This is the difficult challenges and obstacles that we face and decision that myself, that mayor have to make in regards to overall how we deploy, how we look at things….it’s been difficult and challenging,” Cominsky said.

More details: Levine Cava said that she’s personally spoken to some surviving family members about the impending demolition, and says the people she has spoken to are understanding of the need to demolish the building ahead of potential severe weather.

8 hr 2 min agoSurfside mayor says remainder of collapsed condo could be demolished “as early as” SundayFrom CNN’s Adrienne Vogt

Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett speaks at a press conference in Surfside, Florida, on July 3, 2021. CNNSurfside Mayor Charles Burkett said that the collapsed Champlain Towers South could be taken down “I think as early as tomorrow.” 

“The fear was that the hurricane may take down the building for us, and take it down in the wrong direction, on top of the pile where we have victims” Burkett said, referring to the potential threat from now-Tropical Storm Elsa, which could threaten Florida early next week.  

Demolition of the building “will allow our rescue workers to pour all over the entire site without fear of any danger from falling debris or falling buildings,” he said.

Burkett lauded Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava for “decisive leadership” with the demolition plans.  

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief Alan Cominsky said officials are finalizing the plan.

8 hr 37 min ago2 more victims pulled from Surfside collapse site, Miami-Dade County mayor saysFrom CNN’s Melissa Alonso

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Saturday that two more victims were pulled from the Surfside rubble Friday night. 

“The number of confirmed victims now stands at 24,” Levine Cava said. There are 188 people accounted for and 124 unaccounted for, according to the mayor.

“The numbers are fluid and will continue to change,” she said.

7 hr 22 min agoFlorida governor says the state will pay for demolition of collapsed Surfside condoFrom CNN’s Adrienne Vogt

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a press conference in Surfside, Florida, on July 3, 2021. CNNFlorida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state will pay the full cost to demolish the Surfside condo that collapsed.

As Tropical Storm Elsa could impact Florida next week, DeSantis said he supports the building’s demolition, calling it “the prudent thing to do.”

“If the building is taken down, this will protect our search and rescue teams because we don’t know when it could fall over, and

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