‘God saved my child,’ see photos of tree that crashed through Greensboro home; neighborhood coming together to help


GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) – A tree crashed through a child’s room while the family was inside asleep in Greensboro. The family had to race to safety after hearing a loud boom.

“I thought it was an earthquake,” said Iona Smith, who moved into the house in 2015. “I knew it was possible, but you don’t think it’s going to happen to you.”

It happened at the Smith’s house on the 2000 block of Tennyson Drive in the British Woods neighborhood, off Battleground Avenue. 

Smith, her husband Lee and their two children were inside at the time. They were awakened by a loud noise and a sense of danger around 7:19 a.m. Monday.

The startling sound and shake of the house came from their seven-year-old son Carter’s bedroom.  

“We ran and he’s just yelling where’s my son because we realized it’s his room that’s been affected,” she said. “We go inside and all you see is light, so we didn’t know what happened.”

Smith found a tree crashed into her son’s bedroom, tearing apart his room, essentially splitting it in half down the middle. The roof over his bed caved in as he was sleeping.  

“For the roof to cave in on him and for him to walk away with one little scratch that’s just amazing,” Smith said.

Smith told FOX8 the tree landed inches away from her son. 

“God saved my child,” she said. “Everything else can be replaced.”

It was seeing a miracle before her eyes.  

“He pulled me out,” the seven-year-old said.  

A month ago, she moved her son’s bed to a different area of the room, a decision she’s grateful for now. 

“If I had kept it the way it was the tree would’ve fell directly on him and the way he sleeps it would’ve landed on him,” Smith said.

The cleanup is underway for the Smith family. The tree has been cut down and removed. There’s a blue tarp over the exposed part of the house. A yellow poster hangs on the front door stating it’s unsafe to be inside.

“It’s going to be tough,” she said. “We’re resilient, we’ll pull through and we have God on our side.”

Smith told FOX8 even though they are not going to be in their own beds for a while, they’re thankful to have each other to hold. 

“You’ve got to stop taking life for granted because it could go that quick, you only get one life.” 

The Smith family is staying in a hotel while repairs are made to the house. They think the recent rainstorms may be the reason behind the tree falling. It could take four months or longer to piece the house back together.

The British Woods neighborhood came together to help the Smith family with food, money and other needs. A GoFundMe has been set up.

Neighbors told FOX8 what happened brought back painful memories. In 2018 a tree fell and killed 30-year-old Erin Beebe who lived a few doors down in the neighborhood. 

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