Death toll in Surfside, Florida condominium collapse rises to 90

It could be weeks before search efforts conclude.

One-on-one with John Kaminski, Assistant Chief of the Toledo Fire & Rescue Department. (Jaden Jefferson)

TOLEDO, Ohio — The death toll in a Surfside, Florida condominium collapse has risen to 90, as 31 are still unaccounted for, with 71 of the 90 having been identified.

Toledo Fire & Rescue Assistant Chief John Kaminski is leading a crew of 3 from Ohio in search efforts, telling me, crews are no longer focused on rescue, rather recovering the bodies of missing loved ones.

“The team is maintaining their focus, their drive and they know what we’re here for and what we need to do before we can head back home.” Kaminski said.

The search has been a difficult one, with small fires, heat, lightning and rain complicating search efforts for crews on the ground.

Kaminski adds that his team and teams from around the country appreciate the outpouring of support, and that the Surfside community in particular has expressed their gratitude for crews’ efforts.

“The words of encouragement that they’re sending to us and to know that when we get home that they’re there waiting for us — you can’t ask for anything better than that,” he adds.

Just outside the scene of the collapse, South Florida residents have left flowers, teddy bears, candles, and photos memorializing those lost in the collapse. The memorial has also become grounds for families of the victims to mourn their loved ones.

It could still be months before the cause of the collapse is determined.

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