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Surfside security guard saved resident’s life — now they speak again

Iliana Monteagudo says she may not have survived the collapse of the Champlain Towers South condo building if not for the help of security guard Shamoka Furman. The two spoke via Facetime on Friday for the first time since the day after the June 24 tragedy.
Iliana Monteagudo says she may not have survived the collapse of the Champlain Towers South condo building if not for the help of security guard Shamoka Furman. The two spoke via Facetime on Friday for the first time since the day after the June 24 tragedy.

SURFSIDE, Fla. – For the first time since the day after the tragic collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium, Shamoka Furman and Iliana Monteagudo spoke to each other Friday.

Furman is the security guard who was working in the condo on the early morning of June 24 and helped save Monteagudo’s life.

They spoke on a FaceTime call Friday, two days after Furman shared her story of survival with Local 10 News.

“I love you and I remember you and I am so happy to see you again,” Monteagudo said. “We have to hang out to drink champagne to celebrate our life, OK?

“I love you so much and I am grateful that you helped me.”

It’s a story of an everlasting connection.

Shamoka Furman (left) and Iliana Monteagudo (WPLG)

Monteagudo lived on the sixth floor of the building. She made a mad dash when she saw a crack in the wall moments before the building collapsed.

She then heard Furman yelling toward her.

“She held my hands and made me jump over the wall,” Monteagudo recalled.

There was a wall she needed to climb, then an abyss several feet wide. Furman urged her to jump.

“You are one of my angels,” Monteagudo said. “The first angel wake up me. There’s many angels.”

Furman, who had been on the job for five months as a security guard at the Champlain Towers South, could be seen in bodycam footage moments after the condo collapse talking to Surfside police officers.

“All I remember was the building shaking, I thought it was an earthquake,” Furman said of that morning. “I don’t even know how I made it out. Through the grace of God.”

As she escaped through the rubble — thinking “I was going to die in that building” — Furman says she heard other people screaming for help.

“Please don’t leave me,” she recalled hearing. “I haven’t been able to work. It’s been very hard.”

A GoFundMe page has been created to help Furman through this difficult time. To visit the page, click here.


About the Author:

Reporter Rosh Lowe is covering the Surfside building collapse and other news for Local 10 News.