Girlfriend's Request Saved Life of Miami Condo Resident

Erick De Moura stayed the night at his girlfriend's place, though it wasn't planned
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2021 7:43 AM CDT
Updated Jul 3, 2021 3:50 PM CDT
Impromptu Decision Saved Condo Resident's Life
Two men console each other on the beach near the site of the Champlain Towers South condo tower, Sunday, June 27, 2021. Rescuers kept digging through the mound of rubble and clinging to hope that someone could be found alive.   (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

As the days go by, media outlets are providing snapshots of some of those missing or confirmed dead in the Florida condo collapse. The Miami Herald, for example, has a comprehensive list, as well as separate profiles that include a missing family of five and a couple married 59 years. The Washington Post, however, has a different sort of story Monday morning, one of a condo resident whose girlfriend convinced him to spend the night at her place and thus almost certainly saved his life. "That night was unusual," says 40-year-old Erick De Moura. "I was going to leave Fernanda’s house to go home and take a shower and die." The Brazil native had spent the evening at girlfriend Fernanda Figueiredo’s nearby house with friends watching a soccer game, then kicking a soccer ball around the backyard.

At one point, De Moura had to go into a canal to retrieve the ball, and when he emerged soaking wet, everyone decided to call it a night. De Moura initially planned to leave, too—it was around 11:30pm—but he tells the Palm Beach Post that Figueiredo insisted he stay so she could put his clothes in the dryer. He wound up spending the night, only to wake up at 5:30am to a flurry of worried texts and calls on his phone. He had been a 10th-floor resident of Champlain Towers South in Surfside for three years. "For me, for Fernanda, this is definitely a miracle," he tells the Washington Post of his close call. (Video is giving investigators clues about what might have happened.)

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