Police officer, Good Samaritan rescue elderly lady after tree fa - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Police officer, Good Samaritan rescue elderly lady after tree falls on her house


Because of actions taken by a Good Samaritan and police officer Sunday morning, a 94-year-old Chatham County woman made it to safety after a huge tree fell on her house at Whitefield Avenue.

The homeowner said the force of the tree falling was so loud and powerful, she thought it was an earthquake.

The Good Samaritan is the 94-year-old woman’s neighbor, and he and the officer are sharing credit Monday for getting the woman out of her home that was buried by branches and a massive tree trunk.

Advanced Police Officer Brian Durrence was on his morning patrol Sunday near Whitefield Avenue, when a call went out to check on downed power lines and a house fire.

"This big tree behind me was across the road all the way, and I had to park on this side, and ran around to the other side. Neighbors told me that the resident, 94-years old I believe, was stuck inside,” said APO Durrence, Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department.

Just before Durrence arrived, neighbor William "Chris" Flowers came out of his home to investigate what had made the loud boom next door.

"So I ran outside, hopped the fence, had to break off a couple pieces on her door to get inside. Busted the door open,” said Flowers.

Officer Durrence joined in the effort, and together, moved through the debris to get to the woman.

"It was a couple feet away from her, where the tree fell. Luckily it didn't hit her,” said Flowers. "The furniture was very heavy. If it wasn't for him, we wouldn't have gotten out the back door at all."

"We found her inside on the ground, helped her up. We couldn't get her through the door. We came in with the debris blocking it, and she wasn't very mobile,” said APO Durrence. "Somebody needed help, that's what we're there for. The neighbor, I couldn't have done it without him. Great work with the community and police."

While all that was going on, the power lines were still live and sparking, causing small fires and blocking ways in and out of the home after the tree fell.

"We had to go out the back door and move the refrigerator that had fallen over when the tree hit the house. Door wouldn't come open, we had to kick it open, and as we got out there the debris was blocking the exit to the fence. And we couldn't push it down or jump over it because the power lines were still live and sparking off the fence,” said APO Durrence.

The woman is okay, and staying with family for the time being.

Copyright 2015 WTOC. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly