110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
Neighbor helps with rescue
posted Apr 12, 2012 - 2:58:24pm
A mother and her teenage daughter narrowly escaped serious injury today, April 12, when a massive oak fell into their Orange City home about 12:30 p.m.
Neighbor Gavin Holley swept away electrical wires to help the younger woman exit the small house at 412 W. Central Ave. A large section of the roof was destroyed by the tree.
"I was standing at my front door and looked across the street as I heard cracking sounds, and watched the tree fall into the house," Holley said.
He crossed the street to see if the occupants were OK.
"I got to the house and heard the girl screaming. I had to move some 220 [-volt] electrical wires and some wood out of the way and help her out," Holley said.
The mother had left the home briefly. She returned to find the street full of emergency vehicles, her daughter shaken up but unhurt, and the back of their home smashed.
Neither the mother nor her daughter wanted their names used in this story.
In tears, the mother said had she been home, she would have likely been killed, because a large branch of the tree had pushed into her bedroom and crushed her bed.
Neighbors who gathered to watch the action expressed concern about the large number of big oaks in the neighborhood, many of them, like the tree that fell, hollow near the base of the trunk due to advanced age.
Holley and the teen called the Orange City Fire Department to get the electricity to the home disconnected.
"We were dispatched to a tree through a structure with possible structural collapse," Orange City Fire Department Battalion Chief Scott Jefts said. "While we were en route to the scene, we were notified that all occupants were out of the house."
Jefts, on the scene, said the tree was still moving when firefighters and police arrived. The Fire Department worked to secure the building, so the residents could go in and get some of their personal items. He confirmed no one was injured.
Below view YouTube video of Battalion Chief Scott Jefts of the Orange City Fire Department. VIDEO BY BRIAN GOLDESBERRY
Below Gavin Holley tells how he helped out April 12 when a large tree fell onto his neighbor's home on Central Avenue. VIDEO BY BRIAN GOLDESBERRY
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