By Madeleine Marr
From The Miami Herald
SURFSIDE, Fla.—Of all the haunting scenes from the Surfside condo collapse, one image stands out as a symbol of the unimaginable tragedy: a picture of bunk beds on the top floor of the ravaged building.
The white bed set stands hardly touched amid the heart-wrenching devastation, its ladder bent ever so slightly and the sheets and pillows adorning the bottom bed.
Many wondered in horror if a child had been sleeping there before the June 24 calamity.
It turns out the bed was part of a furnished apartment, and a child was likely not sleeping there when the Champlain Towers South went down in the middle of the night. The occupant, 58-year-old attorney Linda March, recently moved there from New York alone for a “fresh start.”
“She sent me pictures of the apartment,” her best friend Rochelle Laufer told the Miami Herald. “The place was beautiful, oceanfront, with beautiful views.”
Laufer told The Associated Press that her friend used the second bedroom as a home office. That would explain the black desk chair seen next to the bunk beds.
Even though March took the place in March 2021, images of the two-bedroom Penthouse 4 still appear on rental site Apartments.com.
“Amazing waterfront views from this two bedroom penthouse,” reads the old listing, which shows the gleaming, pristine unite, now a mangled pile of destruction, and says the apartment is “no longer available.”
Laufer said her friend had one gripe: the Champlain’s noise. “The one thing she complained about was the construction. It started at 8 in the morning and kept going all day.”
The doomed tower was undergoing expensive and extensive renovations and repairs leading up to its 40-year recertification at the time of the catastrophe.
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