The Salem tornado through the eyes of a first responder - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

The Salem tornado through the eyes of a first responder

SALEM, AL (WTVM) -

The EF3 tornado that ripped through east Alabama brought first responders from Lee and several surrounding counties to the rescue.

News Leader 9's Tyrone McCoy caught up with one of the first crews on the scene to recount the experience through their eyes.

The day after the tornado ripped through the Highway 169 area of Salem, Alabama, this is the devastation that remains. I'm actually kneeling in an area that used to be someone's bedroom. First responders say this is nothing compared to what they saw.

"The houses were just totaled," said Bradley Bowen with the Salem Volunteer Fire Department. "They were just leveled. It was something that's hard to describe."

It started just before 4 a.m. Central Time. Bradley Bowen tells us crews at the Salem Volunteer Fire Department were standing by for severe weather when the calls started pouring in.

"We'd gotten a call for a patient trapped in her home, walls have collapsed in on her and she couldn't get out," he added.

The crew suited up and started the eight mile trek from the fire department, to the home located on Highway 169.

"It's was so dark and I've been down this road many times," Bowen said about the scene. "I know the community like the back of my hand. I know where I would be at, but it was so dark and the trees were blown over. Signs were gone. Houses were gone."

Stopping the fire engine before it got to the destruction zone. When Bowen and his crew got out of the truck, he says they walked ahead to begin their search efforts.

"We heard some crying out of someone who was trapped and we go over there to rescue them," he explains. "And we end up having to go get our jaws of life out and lift the roof of this patient."

First responders from over 10 communities joined the relief efforts that rescued everyone affected, with only minor injuries.

Bowen adds that the community pitched in to help, telling them who was where and who was missing. The kind words offered from those pulled from the debris were the driving force for this volunteer.

"Somebody trapped in a house and you just seeing them needing help and giving them the help they need and they're so grateful for it," Bowen shared with a smile.

Copyright 2014 WTVM. All rights reserved.

  • NewsMore>>

  • 89 graves found at Texas construction site

    89 graves found at Texas construction site

    Friday, April 27 2018 3:42 AM EDT2018-04-27 07:42:31 GMT
    Friday, April 27 2018 3:54 AM EDT2018-04-27 07:54:27 GMT
    Graves found at a construction site in Sugar Land, TX, could date back to the 19th century. (Source: KTRK/CNN)Graves found at a construction site in Sugar Land, TX, could date back to the 19th century. (Source: KTRK/CNN)

    Archaeologists in Texas are working to identify the remains found in 89 graves at a construction site.

    More >>

    Archaeologists in Texas are working to identify the remains found in 89 graves at a construction site.

    More >>
  • Korean summit starts with a handshake, after year of tension

    Korean summit starts with a handshake, after year of tension

    Thursday, April 26 2018 10:31 PM EDT2018-04-27 02:31:27 GMT
    Friday, April 27 2018 4:05 AM EDT2018-04-27 08:05:24 GMT
    (Korea Summit Press Pool via AP). North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in cross the military demarcation line to the South side at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone Friday, April 27, 2018. K...(Korea Summit Press Pool via AP). North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in cross the military demarcation line to the South side at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone Friday, April 27, 2018. K...

    After a year of tensions, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in have started their summit with a handshake.

    More >>

    After a year of tensions, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in have started their summit with a handshake.

    More >>
  • Kim Jong Un says Koreas on "starting line" of a new history

    Kim Jong Un says Koreas on "starting line" of a new history

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 10:38 PM EDT2018-04-26 02:38:28 GMT
    Friday, April 27 2018 4:05 AM EDT2018-04-27 08:05:12 GMT
    Kim Jong Un became the first North Korean leader to cross the Military Demarcation Line into the South. (Source: Pool/CNN)Kim Jong Un became the first North Korean leader to cross the Military Demarcation Line into the South. (Source: Pool/CNN)

    Seoul says North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon-Jae-in will plant a tree together and inspect an honor guard after Kim walks across the border for the leaders' historic summit.

    More >>

    Seoul says North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon-Jae-in will plant a tree together and inspect an honor guard after Kim walks across the border for the leaders' historic summit.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly