Neighbors pitch in after massive tree smashes home - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Neighbors pitch in after massive tree smashes home

(WALB image) (WALB image)
(WALB image) (WALB image)
(WALB image) (WALB image)
Ryan Stone (Source: WALB) Ryan Stone (Source: WALB)
Marie Stone (Source: WALB) Marie Stone (Source: WALB)
BACONTON, GA (WALB) -

Ryan Stone said he wouldn't wish this on anybody. 

His home, a product of his hard work, was severely damaged.

But he said the cleanup process is a bit easier, knowing his family is okay.

"I never thought in a million years that something like this would've happened to me," said Stone. 

In a matter of seconds, his home, his pride and joy, was crushed by a falling tree.

"It really tugged at my heart, knowing that what I've worked so hard for, I'm 21 years old, to see it all just destroyed, like it wasn't even worth anything, it hurts you," he said.

Around 9 p.m., Ryan, his sister Marie, his little brother, and nephew, were getting ready for bed, when the storm intensified. 

"I didn't think it was going to be a serious storm until I heard the tree crack," said Marie. "And all I had time to do was duck. But my immediate first thought was about my son in the next room, and I couldn't hear him, and that was a very scary few minutes, when I didn't know if he was okay or not."  

The tree came crashing down into the room where Marie and her four-year-old son were. 

"My first thought was that I was about to be electrocuted, because of the rainwater falling on the live wires and the lights were still running. I was just so scared. I wanted to get out. I was screaming," Marie said.

After Ryan made sure his nephew and brother were alright, he ran outside to see if he could get to his sister through the window. 

"I said, 'Hey Marie, just please, just unlock the window for me.  Unlock the window," said Ryan. "And I got that done, and I snatched the window up and snatched her on out of there.  It was flooding down rain, lightning shooting everywhere, it was scary."

The rain has stopped, but the work is just beginning. 

Ryan said he's blessed he has his family and friends there to help with the debris. 

"Everybody you see behind me, I haven't called a single one of them," said Ryan. "They just showed up on their own with their equipment."

And while the damage is devastating, Ryan said it could have been worse. 

"It's really something that hurt my heart, to see my house just torn all to pieces. We just have to rebuild."

Ryan says he paid for this house in cash, and has no insurance. His family has set up a gofundme account.

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