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A two-year-old child died Wednesday when a tree fell on a house following a tornado in Michigan.

The National Weather Service confirmed the tornado was an EF1 with estimated winds of 95 mph and moved about 5.5 miles through Livonia – about 20 miles west of Detroit. The NWS said it will continue to assess damage in the area.



According to the Livonia Fire Chief, firefighters were called to a tree that had fallen in a residential area around 3:35 p.m. When firefighters arrived, they found a “huge tree” uprooted and fallen on the roof of a home, Livonia Fire Chief Robert Jennison said.

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The tree landed in a bedroom at the back of the house where the two-year-old and the child’s mother were located. The tree pinned them to a bed.

Jennison said all available city units were dispatched to the home. The Western Wayne County Urban Search and Rescue Team was called to assist on scene.

Rescue crews worked for about an hour to remove the tree from the house and remove parts of the roof. High-pressure lifting bags were used to rescue the victims.

“About a dozen chainsaws and 25 firefighters cut the tree into pieces until we got enough weight off it to lift the massive trunks off it and get it out of the bed,” Jennison said.

The two-year-old’s death was confirmed at the scene of the accident. The mother, who remained conscious during the rescue operation, was taken to hospital in critical condition. She was treated by paramedics during the rescue.

A two-week-old baby was lying in a crib in another room. This room was not affected by the fallen tree. The baby was taken to the hospital by firefighters along with the grandmother.



“It was a very traumatic sight. Our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and families of the victims. It was a tough day,” Jennison told reporters at the scene. “We have a lot of fathers and they have children of a similar age. But that’s what they do. That’s what they train for. There’s still some healing to be done afterward, but that’s why they’re here and that’s what they do.”

No warnings were issued and no sirens were heard during the storm.

“It was just a very short, sudden storm, as we discuss with the National Weather Service, and something that is difficult to predict in its magnitude,” said Brian Kahn, emergency preparedness director. “It’s a tragic day and it’s a part of the job that we all hate. And as a father myself, I just can’t imagine it.”

Authorities are working to clean up the area and reopen roads. Authorities are also working to restore power to the area, Kahn said.

“This is a terrible tragedy for our community,” Mayor Maureen Miller Brosnan said in a city statement. “We, too, are heartbroken and extend our deepest condolences.”

Local residents spent hours cleaning up the damage left behind.

“It just gives me goosebumps. I hope I never have to go through this again,” said neighbor Susan Hill.

Local residents are aware of the tragedy that occurred near them and know that the damage suffered by the victims and their families can never be repaired.

“We can always make things right. We can’t bring anyone’s life back,” said neighbor Kevin Martyka.

Hill said, “She’s just the nicest person I’ve ever met, and the little boy was just so sweet, even though I hadn’t even seen the baby yet. And I’m just praying for her.”

This story was originally published by Natalia Escalante at ^ “Scripps News Detroit”.

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