Tree crushes Hanover home with grandparents, mom and baby inside: ‘I believe in miracles’

Posted at 10:30 PM, Dec 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-14 22:31:58-05

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- Three generations of one family are counting their blessings after living through a massive tree toppling onto their Hanover County home Saturday morning.

Firefighters were called to the 1300 block of Doswell Road around 8:30 a.m. for a report of a tree into a house with four people as well as pets trapped inside.

Susan Samuel told WTVR CBS 6 News that her brother, her brother's wife, their daughter, 2-week-old grandchild, a dog and two cats were inside their home when the tree came down.

“It’s Christmas and I believe in miracles -- and we’ve already had one today,” Samuel said.

Tree crashes into home in 1300 block of Doswell Road.

Tree crashes into home in 1300 block of Doswell Road.

Samuel said remarkably no one was seriously injured. One person had a scraped ankle and another had a bruised arm, but the baby got out without a scratch.

“Mom did a wonderful job keeping the baby safe until they could get her and the baby out," Samuel said. "We were so proud of her.”

The family also managed to get their dog out of the house. However, the family's two cats, Fat Cat and Bella, remain unaccounted for.

“We assume [the cats] are still in the home," Samuel said. "But we can’t put anybody at risk to go out and search.”

In fact, damage to the home is so extensive officials condemned the structure, Samuel said. As a result, the family cannot retrieve necessities like clothing, baby formula or medications.

“It’s been a long day for the family, but we’re truly blessed," Samuel said. "We got them all out safe..., [but] grandma, grandpa and mama lost everything."

Samuel said the Red Cross has provided some assistance for the family, who will be staying with relatives for the foreseeable future.

Accordingly, the family is welcoming donations from the community.

“We’ve got to get ready for the future. Any help that anyone can give would be greatly appreciated," Samuel said. “Everything else is just things that we as a community and a family, if we work together, maybe we can help them get on their feet a little quicker.”

Susan Samuel

Susan Samuel

Samuel warned that officials said the home could collapse at any time, so she asked people to stay away.

“The house has shifted since this morning – and it’s steady creaking," she said. "Whether it will still be there on Monday when the county man comes, I couldn’t tell you.”

Samuel said the family is waiting on that inspection Monday to find out what happens next.

“In the weeks to come, we’re not sure what’s going to happen,” Samuel said. “Please keep praying, because this is going to be a long road for my sister-in-law and her family."

If you would like to help the family, you can contact the Red Cross at 804-780-2250 and mention the family on Doswell Road.



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