Arizona man rescues teenager from Florida condo collapse rubble

A Valley man was in Florida when a portion of a 13-story condo suddenly crumbled, and he says he helped rescue a teenager from the rubble of the collapse.

The 15-year-old boy Jonas Handler is still in the hospital recovering from several broken bones and his mother, after having her leg amputated to get her out of the rubble, died in the hospital.

Valley resident Nicholas Balboa was on vacation in Florida walking his dog when he thought he heard thunder. Then as he got closer, he picked up on the cries for help coming from a cloud of dust and mountain of debris.

"I couldn't make out the voice. I said, ‘Keep yelling.’ And he said, ‘Can you see me?’ He sticks his hand up out of the rubble," Balboa remembered.

He climbed the pile concrete, glass and rebar in flip flops. Handler was pinned underneath and asking for his mother.

Balboa directed rescue crews to the spot.

"I said, ‘I see you. I’m gonna go get help.’ The boy said, ‘Don’t leave me. Don’t leave me," Balboa said.

Since the collapse, rescue crews, working in the rain, are digging to find any survivors. Carefully peeling back layers of pancaked concrete, expecting to find dozens dead.

Nearly 160 people are still missing as of June 25.

Balboa plans to visit Handler in the hospital soon, saying he doesn't feel like a hero, but says, "I was just being a decent person."

Related Stories:

Tune in to FOX 10 Phoenix for the latest news: