Arlington Man Awaits Answers on His Mother, Grandmother After Florida Building Collapses

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An Arlington, Virginia, man is one of many family members waiting for answers on the whereabouts of loved ones after a condo building collapsed in Surfside, Florida.

"I would say yesterday was just a shock day. Today, a lot of us woke up hoping it was a bad dream," Alex Rodriguez told News4.

Thursday morning, Rodriguez got a call from his sister-in-law about the partial collapse of Champlain Towers South.

His mom, Elena Blasser, and his grandmother, Elena Chavez were inside.

"I thought it was a bad joke. But, clearly, I knew it wasn't," Rodriguez said.

His uncle showed him the video of the building crashing down.

"From the video it looks like it was one of the first ones that was collapsing and then everything else was coming down," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez described his family as realistic.

"We're trying to figure out what the next steps are; waiting for information, waiting for the news that we know is coming," he said.

Just weeks ago, he said his mom and other relatives were in D.C. together

He said he's no expert, but he believes something was wrong with the building.

"We need to have reform, and I'm challenging the governor and I want to challenge the mayor and our elected officials to look into this to figure out what happened here," Rodriguez said.

Telemundo 51 in Miami reports the building was going through a re-certification process needed 40 years after it was built.

The building's association had approved $15 million in repairs in order to obtain that re-certification, Telemundo 51 reported.

"Where was all those HOA fees and special assessments that were just imposed. Where was all that going?" he said.

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