UPDATE: Wood County, OH-Tornado: Firefighter's Saved Family


May 21, 2010

Unexpected Power Surge Saves 7 from Tornado


LAKE TWP., Ohio -- At approximately 11:25 p.m. Saturday, a funnel cloud was making its way toward Lake High School in Wood County.

Two Lake Township volunteer firefighters, including Ed brown, and a family of five, were trapped outside.

"We could actually see the tornado on the horizon," said Brown. "It was your classic sound of a freight train, your classic 'V', it was dark."

The family went to the school seeking shelter, after hearing the tornado warnings.

Firefighters were there to open up the building. The problem was, they had the wrong keys.

The funnel cloud was getting closer and closer, still, the group was trapped outside.

Then suddenly, a miracle.

"We had a power surge which tripped the alarm at the school, which opened the handicapped door," said Brown.

The group rushed inside the school and not a second too soon.

"We ran down the hall, closed the doors, long enough to, I would say probably 30 to 45 seconds. There was debris flying behind us that came in through the door that we came in."

The group of seven huddled together, while outside, the twister flipped the firemen's SUV.

The tornado also destroyed the cafeteria and gym of Lake High School, while not laying a hand on the family or firemen, who were on the other side of the building.

Brown says this harrowing experience has changed his life.

"You go home and hug your kids, kiss your wife and call your family," said Brown.




LAKE TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- At least five people were killed after a tornado struck Wood County late Saturday night.

According to Chief Mark Hummer of the Lake Township Police Department, among the killed was a mother who had gone to the police department with her husband and baby to seek shelter.

Hummer said the woman handed her baby off to a police officer right before the tornado hit. Her husband, baby and the police officer made it inside. The woman did not and was swept away by the tornado.

Authorities say they are still searching through homes for people, although it was unclear if anyone is missing.

Chief Hummer told Fox 8 News the tornado hit shortly after 11 p.m.

Circumstances surrounding the other deaths are being investigated.

The National Weather Service is reporting that as many as five tornadoes touched down in Northwest Ohio Saturday night and overnight into Sunday.

In addition to the fatalities, the devastation left by the twister was significant. The Lake Township Administration and Dispatch Center was leveled. The Lake High School gymnasium, where graduation was to be held Sunday, was heavily damaged. Hummer says at least 50 homes were destroyed and another 50 were badly damaged.



Public safety departments from all over Northwest Ohio have responded to assist. The Wood County Sheriff's Office is dispatching for the Lake Township Police Department -- which was in the administration building that was destroyed. The Ohio State Highway Patrol Wood County Post says it is also helping to field calls for Lake Township.

An aerial search is was executed to retrace the path of the storm. The air-search was necessary to make sure residents were accounted for, Hummer said.

The EMA of Wood County has declared a state of emergency. Officials say the National Guard has responded to assist with the disaster.

Chief Hummer says despite the devastation, the city will overcome the hardships.

"We'll get through this. We can rebuild. It's certainly sad to have the loss of life, my heart goes out to the families," Hummer told Fox 8 News.

If you would like to help the people of Lake Township, please contact your local Red Cross for information.


May 7, 2010
Northwest Ohio
15 miles from my house... actual death count is 7 or 8.. media doesn't have them all yet.


May 21, 2010
Wow. I watched this go thru on the radar. That had to be that officer's worst nightmare.

I know when the weather goes to shit around here, it's all hands on deck.


I seen this just before I went to my own daughter's graduation. I'm glad it hit when it did or there would be up to 100 or more dead and injured. Don Myhre

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