Sleeping Raleigh family escapes injury when huge tree crashes into home

DeJuan Hoggard Image
Saturday, September 15, 2018

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A North Raleigh family got quite the fright but escaped injury early Saturday morning when a large tree fell on their home during the rains and winds from Tropical Storm Florence.

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Emergency crews responded to the call about 12:15 a.m. on Farmridge Road. A man who was sleeping in his bedroom was pinned on his bed by the crash. His wife and a young girl were also asleep in the master bedroom.

Crews told ABC11 the man was not hurt and did not complain of any pain. Firefighters were able to free him and the man was later able to walk out of the house on his own.

Assistant Chief William Schultz with Durham Highway Fire Department described the incident as "kind of miraculous."

RELATED: What to expect in Wake County as Florence moves through

He told ABC11, "I guess we can attest (the incident) to the fact that he was on the mattress and had a little dampening effect when the tree came down on him."

Schultz said firefighters worked to stabilize the tree to prevent further damage and then worked to free the man, who is believed to be in his 60s.

The man's wife was helped out of the house by firefighters and taken to an ambulance to be evaluated.

The young girl and two adults, a man and a woman, later emerged from the house with a few belongings.

MORE: Full coverage of Hurricane Florence

"That's the danger of this storm," Schultz said. "With these rains and winds like this, trees are going to keep falling as long as it's rainy and windy."

No one was hospitalized, and the five went to a family member's house.

A neighbor told ABC11 that the resident had been worried about "that tree" for some time and wanted to do something about it.

The tree will remain on the house at least overnight.

"I don't know the last time we had a subject pinned inside of a structure because of a tree," Schultz added. "But it just shows that it can happen. You just never really know."