ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - Early Wednesday morning, November 13, 2013, Alachua County Fire Rescue (ACFR) responded to a partial building collapse involving an approximately 100-foot-tall, 4-foot-wide tree falling onto a mobile home. Inside the mobile home were three children (who were unharmed), a man (who was alert but in respiratory distress due to the weight of the tree), and a woman who was deceased. The tree had crashed through the home’s roof directly over the couple’s bed.
Despite difficult access due to narrow, unpaved roads, ACFR crews, with the help of ASO vehicles, were able to transport personnel and equipment to the site of the emergency. With the use of Squad 16, ACFR’s technical rescue apparatus, firefighters were able to stabilize the tree on each side of the home and begin efforts to lift the tree off the victims. The tree was estimated to weigh 10 tons, but firefighters were able to rescue the man and he was transported safely by ACFR rescue unit to the trauma center at UF Health Emergency Room.
The incident commander requested a tree service company to come out and assist the rescuers in removing the tree from the patients. Wes Langston of Langston Tree Service out of Trenton, Florida responded with a crew of three to assist in the rescue efforts.
ACFR Deputy Chief, Bill Northcutt said, ”We would like to express its deepest thanks to Mr. Langston and his crew for responding at a moments notice in the middle of the night to help someone in need.”
For more information, contact Alachua County Fire Rescue Deputy Chief, Bill Northcutt at 352-384-3117 or firstname.lastname@example.org.