Search And Rescue Over At Building Collapse Site - FOX 13 News

Search And Rescue Over At Building Collapse Site

Posted: Updated:

Activity has slowed with nightfall but just like late Wednesday night, anything is possible. After 11pm Wednesday emergency crews rescued a woman from beneath the pile nearly 12 hours after the deadly building collapse.

Special Operations Chief Craig Murphy spoke during a news conference about fellow rescuer Chief John O'Neill who located the woman after thinking what he saw was just a wrack of clothing buried in the Salvation Army Thrift Store rubble.

"John actually just felt to see if he could feel a person under the pile of clothes. The woman moved and arched her back. John was scared and surprised. He put his hand in the air and said we got a live one here."

Chuck Slemmer is in awe of that rescue. But many are moved by his actions along with two of his co-workers. They were photographed springing into action. 

"It was an adrenaline rush," said Slemmer. Slemmer and his coworkers Dave and Jeff are steam fitters with Local 420. They were working nearby, rushed to the scene and without a second thought, "We started moving bricks and trying to see if we could see people. We were able to see a stairwell that was caved in," said Dave Heintz. They found a hole and began widening it to get people out. They remember one woman they couldn't reach though. Emergency did when they arrived.

"She was trapped on a stairwell and had like a 10 foot fall if she would have went one way or the other," recalled Slemmer.

Jeff Ware who served three tours in Iraq did what he knows best. He risked his life to save others.

"You don't really think. You just think that there's somebody in there and you can hear them. You just hope nobody is hurt."

In the meantime, officials are turning their focus to what is sure to be a grueling investigation into a demolition gone wrong.

"Something obviously went wrong here yesterday and possibly in the days leading up to it. That's what the investigation is for," said Mayor Michael Nutter.

The fire department is wrapping up the cleanup process since the search and rescue effort is over.

They'll turn over the site to License and Inspections, the Fire Marshall and police.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • CLOUDS TO SUN THURSDAY

    Thursday, July 24 2014 9:52 AM EDT2014-07-24 13:52:31 GMT

    Thursday, early clouds will lead to afternoon sun as highs today remain in the mid 80s. 

    Thursday: H-85 L-72

    Thursday, early clouds will lead to afternoon sun as highs remain in the mid 80s. We stay dry Friday with lower humidity and sunny skies. We warm back up near 90 for the weekend with unsettled weather returning by late Saturday.

    Thursday: H-85 L-72

    Friday: H-86 L-65

    This Weekend

    Saturday: H-88 L-64

    Sunday: H-91 L-73

  • Arizona inmate dies 2 hours after execution began

    Arizona inmate dies 2 hours after execution began

    A condemned murderer took nearly two hours to die and gasped for about 90 minutes during an execution in Arizona that quickly rekindled the national debate on capital punishment in the U.S.
    A condemned murderer took nearly two hours to die and gasped for about 90 minutes during an execution in Arizona that quickly rekindled the national debate on capital punishment in the U.S.
  • Dick's Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros

    Dick's Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros

    The western Pennsylvania-based Dick's Sporting Goods chain has laid off 478 Professional Golfers' Association teaching pros months after the company reported that sales of golf gear are dwindling.
    The western Pennsylvania-based Dick's Sporting Goods chain has laid off 478 Professional Golfers' Association teaching pros months after the company reported that sales of golf gear are dwindling.
Powered by WorldNow

FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
3213 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, Florida 33609
Main: (813) 876-1313
Newsroom: (813) 870-9630
Fax: (813) 871-3135

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices