Family thankful to be alive after tree hits their house - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Family thankful to be alive after tree hits their house

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By Callie Starnes
Eyewitness News Reporter

RED BANK, HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -- Red Bank was hit hard by Monday afternoon's storm.

On Dayton Boulevard, several trees fell on or near the road bringing power lines down with them. Businesses and cars were damaged.

One man had to pulled from his home, after a large pecan tree crashed through his roof.

Wayne Maxwell and his family were at home when the storm hit. Firefighters had to go in and pull the 70 year old out of a tiny space. They say it was the refrigerator that saved his life.

Piece by piece firefighters got closer to Maxwell.

Family members were able to crawl to safety, but Maxwell was trapped in his kitchen after a tree crashed through his roof.

"You can see by the pictures, its flattened," says Maxwell's nephew, David Johnson.

Strong storms brought down two pecan trees, taking the roof off of Maxwell's home and splitting his sister's home in half.

Marna Johnson was watching the storm move through from her living room.

"About that time the TV went swam and the house just went boom boom boom," says Marna Johnson.

Marna's door was jammed.  A friend helped her get out but Marna soon realized her brother was still inside the house next door.

"It was scary, its still scary, and really I don't know what to do," says Marna Johnson.

By what rescue crews call a miracle, Wayne Maxwell was unharmed. He waived at family members, as if to say, he'd be okay.

"The gentleman was begging not to go to the hospital until we advised him he should go to the hospital just to get checked out, but not a scratch on him," says Amy Maxwell, with Hamilton County Fire and EMS.

Despite losing not one, but two homes, the family says they're counting their blessings.

"Everybody is safe and that's the main thing," says David Johnson.

There are several families in the Red Bank area reporting severe damage.

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