• Man rescues trapped sister, nephew after massive tree splits house in two

    By: Gina Esposito, WSOCTV.com

    Updated:

    ALBEMARLE, N.C. - An Albemarle family was trapped inside its home after a massive tree fell and literally split the house in two.

    Channel 9 reporter Gina Esposito spoke to the family about the terrifying experience. They said they’re blessed and thankful that everyone was OK after the huge tree crashed down on the home during Tropical Storm Michael.

    The tree landed in the living room when the ceiling collapsed, trapping two people inside.

    Ronnie Lee Russell and his wife, who live next door, heard the crash and rushed over to help. Russell is the brother of the trapped homeowner.

    Russell said he went through the front door and saw that the ceiling had collapsed on his 18-year-old nephew. He pulled him out of a chair and then out of the home to safety.

    Russell then told Channel 9 he then ran to the back of the house and kicked open the door to get to his sister, who was also trapped.

    Russell’s wife, Channa Trull, said the entire situation was terrifying.

    “It was rough,” she told Esposito. “It scared me. Hadn’t seen anything like that.”

    Russell’s 87-year-old mother was standing at the front door when the tree fell and was not trapped.

    All three were taken to the hospital and treated for bumps and bruises.


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