One day after a four-story Brooklyn building collapsed into a heap of rubble, Jose Diaz could only stand and stare as emergency workers began to tear down his own building - which is next door - as a safety precaution.
"The building is now unliveable. No one can go in there," said Diaz, 42, a butcher who has lived in 491 Myrtle Ave. since 2003. "I have to start living from scratch."
For now, Diaz and his eight relatives who were the other tenants are not allowed to reclaim their possessions as officials say the building is too unstable.
"I have to get my Social Security cards, the birth certificates for my kids, but I can't get in there," said Diaz of his third-floor apartment.