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Fire and smoke hamper search for survivors in Surfside

Firefighters pour water on the ruble of the Champlain Towers South Condo as thick smoke from a fire within fills the air in Surfside, Fla., Friday, June 25, 2021. The apartment building partially collapsed on Thursday, June 24. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

The Florida governor and Miami Dade mayor announcing Saturday morning that deep smoldering fires and thick, toxic smoke are preventing rescue workers from continuing their search and rescue mission in the rubble of the collapsed Champlain Towers south in Surfside, Fla. At this time, fire fighters cannot locate the source of the fires deep in the debris.

The casualty numbers remain unchanged, 4 known dead, 159 missing, 127 found.

The fires are difficult to find and fight beneath the rubble. Fire fighters are using infrared technology and foam in an effort to extinguish the subterranean flames. A moat has been dug around the deep smoldering areas to contain them but the fire suppression effort is not working. Also, rain continues to fall and hamper rescue efforts.

Fire fighters from around South Florida have joined the rescue effort, but no more victims have been located.

Also, Governor Ron DeSantis said that a sister building located in the area of similar age and design may have to be evacuated. The sister building was built in 1981 near the Champlain Towers South by the same developer and is being currently being inspected for structural defects.

Governor DeSantis said an evacuation order for the twin building may be issued later today if the building integrity is deemed unsafe.