Responders and victim speak about Saturday tornado

Published: May. 18, 2019 at 7:27 PM CDT
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COMANCHE COUNTY, Okla. (TNN) - It was near Southeast 45th and New Hope where two homes were completely destroyed Saturday morning. Fortunately, there were no major injuries as a result of the short, but strong, tornado.

“The next thing I know is the roof, I was looking up at the sky,” resident Weldon Simmons said. “Of course I had that big tree that blew over. I was right there at the window looking out and I seen it whipping around and the roof went off.”

Simmons has lived in the home in Geronimo for about 50 years. He and his wife were inside when the tornado hit.

“First thing I did was put my shoes on, then when I came through there I saw all of this down, and then I heard her calling for help,” Simmons said.

Geronimo Fire Department firefighter Clayton Maldonado was one of the first on scene.

“I actually spotted a funnel that was halfway to the ground, 2 miles south of Geronimo and then I lost it in the rain,” Maldonado said. “Then I saw a bunch of power flashes and I got in the fire truck and headed toward the power flashes to see if we can find any damage and that’s when we found two houses completely destroyed. The first thing I was concerned about was people’s safety. The gentleman that lives here was out here walking around and his wife was in the house and we assisted her in getting out.”

An ambulance transported Simmon’s wife to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

"It was a miracle the lady wasn’t hurt more than she was because a brick wall fell in on their bed and " Geronimo Fire Chief Norman Leveille said. “Where the window was is where she was standing when they found her and got her out, so it was amazing no one was seriously hurt. We were able get over here and do our job like we could and help these people out the best we could.”

The American Red Cross was also on scene offering assistance to those affected.

Click here to donate to the relief effort.

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