PARIS, France: Authorities report that a warning by a resident of a four-story building that collapsed saved countless lives.
The building collapsed November 12 in the northern French city of Lille. One building resident was rescued from the rubble by Lille firefighters.
Officials report that a resident of the building contacted authorities after seeing cracks in the building.
Arriving firemen evacuated the building and cordoned off the area. The four story building contained both commercial and residential spaces.
Lille Mayor Martine Aubry credited the unnamed man with saving lives.
"I am still shaking, because if this gentleman hadn't come home at 3 a.m. and contacted us, we wouldn't have had this reaction and, well, there would have obviously been deaths," Aubry said, according to the Associated Press.
"He then warned the municipal police and the firefighters, who decided to evacuate the building, believing that there was a real risk," Aubry said.
Two buildings collapsed in the southern French city of Marseille in 2018, killing eight people and resulting in harsh criticism of local authorities and the French government.
Following the 2018 building collapses, French authorities ordered a citywide building-by-building check.