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Lisa Brooks, survivor of Davenport collapse, speaks out on her experience in building after tragedy

Brooks said she remained inside the building because she inhaled gas and wasn't conscious.

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Lisa Brooks emerged from her fourth-floor window over 24 hours after the Davenport apartment building partially collapsed. WQAD News 8 obtained an in-depth interview with Brooks about her experience. 

“I was in there for two days because I inhaled gas,” Brooks said. “I barely was thinking clearly because of the gas I inhaled. I tried to tell them a week prior before the incident that I smell gas in the building.”

Before Brooks was evacuated by firefighters, Davenport officials said an extensive search had been completed, and they believed no one else remained in the building.

“They told me come on now, come on now,” Brooks explained. “You’ve got to hit the (window) screen, we here now.”

This shocking moment led to days-long protests and put a pause on the City’s plans to begin demolition.

Brooks said she wanted to grab some shopping bags before leaving because she had just spent over $200 at Burlington’s. She had never grabbed those bags, and the clothes were added to the 22 million pounds of rubble.

After evacuating the building, Brooks was taken to the hospital and received care for severe dehydration. 

“I’m glad that the rest of who is alive, that we made it out,” Brooks said. “And I’m so sad about the ones who didn’t make it, and I cry in my soul for them all the time.”

Brooks had only lived in that apartment for a couple of months before it collapsed. She said she still does not have a permanent place to live but is hopeful her life will return to normal at some point.

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