Twenty-one people were killed when the old five-storey building collapsed, two days after Mumbai saw the heaviest rain in 12 years. The building was declared unsafe six years ago.
"I went to collect my belongings last night before leaving for my native place in Uttar Pradesh this morning," Mr Rafiq said.
When he heard the loud noise and some people inside yelling the building was about the fall, he ran out as fast as he could, leaving behind his mobile phone and bag.
"I don't know how many people were there in the building. My mobile phone and bag remained inside, but I am relieved that I am alive," he said.
"There was a playgroup in that building which opens at 9 am, so thankfully there were no children around there," he said. "People used to stay on the ground floor shops... Workers of a sweet shop on the ground floor also stayed there," he added.
Another resident of a nearby building said a 10-day-old baby lived with the sweet shop owner's family on the second floor.