Colleton County Fire-Rescue
13/April/2020 – Building Rescue – “C” Shift
Incident # 20-02472 – At 07:21 Monday morning 13-April, during the severe weather event where several tornados struck Colleton County, Fire-Rescue was dispatched to 784 Barracada Road for a report of tree that hit a house trapping a woman and a small child. Firefighter-Paramedics had difficulty reaching the scene due to blocked roads where trees had fallen across the roadways. In one case, approaching units using Robertson Blvd near the airport, City of Walterboro Public Works employees, who had just had their facility destroyed by one of the tornados, ran ahead of the responding units in a heavy downpour, cutting up the trees to clear the road for emergency responders. Crews arrived at the residence on Barracada Road and were met by an injured man who advised he, his wife and granddaughter had been in the house when the emergency alerts came over the cell phone. They evacuated to a bedroom when a tree fell on the house. The tree struck him causing injuries including a possible broken shoulder. He was able to self-extricate and call 9-1-1, but advised his wife and granddaughter were trapped in the house. Crews entered the heavily damaged home and found the bedroom was destroyed. A large pine tree was lying across the room and had fallen in the area of a window. The roof and ceiling had collapsed all of which was lying on the bed. The floor had also collapsed. Responders began removing debris, tree limbs and digging through several feet of materials and insulation. After approximately 20 minutes they found a two year old girl who was still alive. The child was injured but did not appear to have any life threatening injuries. The child was taken to a nearby Fire-Rescue Ambulance for evaluation. Interior crews continued to dig through the debris and found the adult female who had no signs of life. The Coroner’s Office was notified and Coroner Richard Harvey responded to the scene. Firefighter-Paramedics continued to work to remove the female from under the tree, however all attempts to lift the tree were not successful due to the floor being damaged. The County Roads and Bridges Dept was called and brought a mini-excavator to the scene. They lifted the tree so the patient could be removed. The grandfather and the young girl were transported by Fire-Rescue to Colleton Medical Center.
Engine 19, Medic 27, Rescue 1, Battalion 1, Car 107, Car 112 and Car 118 responded. Battalion Chief Scott Feather served as Incident Commander.
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