9-year-old safe after tree crashes through apartment during storm

NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. – Tenants at a small Miami apartment building are spending the night out of their home after Tropical Storm Eta’s wind and rain snapped a tree in half and sent the top half plummeting through a roof.

Mae Frierson lives in one of the units in the multi-family unit along Northwest 4th Court near 69th Street. Her 9-year-old grandson was having dinner when the tree came crashing down and into the apartment and a ceiling fan fell within inches of the boy.

“It sounded like a car ran into something,” Frierson said.

Photographs show the weight of the tree as it sent debris flying through the ceiling.

"I ran to the kitchen and his mom ran out screaming, ‘Get him. Get him,’ " Frierson said.

Crews with Miami Fire Rescue arrived and used cutting tools to get the family out safely.

“Our crews cut some of the branches away, which allowed for the family to safely evacuate,” Captain Ignatius Carroll of Miami Fire Rescue told Local 10.

In all, seven people were displaced. They were all shaken by what happened, but no one was injured.

“Never underestimate any kind of storm especially when you have strong winds, the rains and a lot of flooding,” Carroll said.

Those who were displaced are spending the night with relatives. Inspectors came out to look at the property and they will return to make sure it is safe for anyone to come back once the storm passes.

About the Authors:

Liane Morejon is an Emmy-winning reporter who joined the Local 10 News family in January 2010. Born and raised in Coral Gables, Liane has a unique perspective on covering news in her own backyard.

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true-crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local 10.com.