When part of his residential building collapsed, Barry Cohen knew he needed to get out of his apartment. But when he looked down the hallway, he said, "there was nothing there."
"It was just a pile of dust and rubble and paint falling from the ceilings," he told CNN.
After not being able to find a way out of the building, he says he went to his balcony, and by that time, the fire trucks and police had arrived.
"It must have been 20 minutes, it felt like a lifetime that we were still stuck in this apartment on the balcony," he said, adding that when he, his wife and another resident were rescued from the balcony of his third floor apartment.
"When we were waiting for the firetruck to approach the building, the building was still shaking. It just seemed like it was very unsteady. And I just, you know, knowing how what it looked like outside my door, I thought that any minute, we could be that same pile of rubble."
Cohen, who lived in that apartment for three years, said he prayed while he was waiting to be rescued.
"I thought the whole building was going to just collapse. So once we were in the cherry picker, a feeling of relief just came over me that was incredible that I survived this tragedy," he added.
Watch the interview: