Chabad Mother Escaped Surfside Tower Moments Before it Fell

A Lubavitcher mother of six had just returned from a Yud Beis Tammuz farbrengen when her building began to shake. A miraculous story how one mother and her children were saved from the Surfside tragedy.

By VINews and

While the world looks on in horror as rescue workers continue to try and save some of the more than 150 people trapped under the rubble of the South Champlain Tower in Miami, some stories of miraculous survival are already being told.

Shterna Sarah Nir, a Lubavitcher mother of 6, lived with her family in the building. On Wednesday night, her husband and four of their children were out of town, and two of their children were asleep in their apartment. She herself was out until late, attending a farbrengen marking Yud Beis Tammuz.

Shortly after she returned at 12:30 A.M she began hearing strange noises in the building. She says that she thought that somebody was doing renovations but couldn’t understand why they were doing them at such an hour.

Nir went to the building’s guard on the ground floor to complain about the noise, which was getting louder. Suddenly she saw the parking filling with debris. She quickly woke up her children and told them to run outside since there was “an earthquake.”

Sarah, still convinced that it was an earthquake, continued running around the streets with no way of contacting others, since her phone was in the collapsed building. A person stopped her and offered help, stating that he was Jewish and had served in the IDF. He took her to a local hotel and found her a room, which was later paid for by the Red Cross.

Sarah told the B’Chadrei Chareidim website that “Hashem gave me signs, I came back late from the Hisvaadus, so I wasn’t asleep, Hashem gave me signs to run away and I did so.”

Gavriel Nir, Sarah’s son, told Israel’s Channel 13 that the collapse occurred in three stages and took a few minutes. First, he and his family heard noise from above and saw dust falling. They then heard a boom that they thought was an earthquake and rushed out of the building. Finally, from outside, they saw the collapse, with white clouds of dust following them as they ran.

“If it wasn’t for my mom, it would have been very bad… she figured out something was not right,” Nir says.

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