MIAMI (CBS4) – South Florida’s Brazilian community mourned the hundreds of lives lost in a Brazilian nightclub fire.

A Portuguese church service in Surfside began with a prayer for the more than 200 people killed, many of them university students.

Marco Garcia, known as Pastor Mike, works with Rescue Church Ministries.

“It’s a big loss,” he said, “It’s a big loss even I think for Brazil. Who knows who we would have there among them; someone who would be a very good scientist or engineer. Someone who would make a difference in the world and was just cut off because of the tragedy.”

At Brazilian restaurants and bars, televisions tuned to Brazilian stations which showed the latest death toll. Many watched with heavy hearts.

“It’s unfortunate that it happened especially in Brazil we have a connection with everybody there so it’s a personal thing,” said Guilherme Benette.

Mariana Sousa said her entire family is in Brazil.

“My mom works in Brazil in an area where they have clubs and today she was contacted to make sure everything was in place and all the security was in place to avoid any sort of disaster,” she said.

Here in South Florida, there is little anyone can do, but offer support.

“We’re praying and we’re suffering too with everybody,” said Garcia.


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