The woman who lives in this house in Springfield is legally blind. Even though she couldn't see it, she certainly heard the sound of the giant oak tree that came crashing down on her roof.
“All of the sudden, there was this crash,” said homeowner Pamela Johnson. “Bang! A loud, loud sound.”
Johnson was sitting on her couch in her pajamas. The towering tree pierced the cabinet right above her kitchen stove.
“I thought the house was just caving in. It was an earthquake or something. I didn't know,” she said.
Because she's legally blind, she really didn't know what had happened.CLICK HERE TO MAKE A DONATION TO HELP PAMELA JOHNSON
“I didn't even have time to be frightened or be scared,” Johnson said. “I got to do something. I got to get out of here.”
She did. A neighbor called 911. Others nearby heard it.
“A loud bang,” said one neighbor. “It had that crunchy, crashy sound to it.”
“She is very fortunate to be alive,” said Capt. Timothy Barb of Fairfax County Fire and Rescue.
Fortunate, but Johnson has no insurance on this house she has lived in for decades and her only remaining family she has are some cousins.
“It just feels kind of like you've been stripped bare,” said Johnson.
The Fairfax County fire department’s technical rescue operations team responded. They are the same people who respond to earthquakes around the world.
They managed to get Home Depot to donate a 40 by 60 foot tarp for the damaged home.
“We're a customer service-oriented fire department,” said Barb. “We're going basically stay here and make things right.”
Johnson was about to sell the house because living alone was too much.
“It's coming at a very bad time,” she said.
It will be quite a while before Johnson is able to get back in her house. For the next three nights, the Red Cross is putting her up in a hotel. What happens after that is not clear.
Johnson has no insurance, but some acquaintances have started a site to help raise money for Johnson. To help donate, go to http://www.gofundme.com/7y7l1o#
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