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Grandmother holds children and prays as tree splits home, spares family

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LOUISA COUNTY, Va. -- When Michelle Mock's phone alerted her to a tornado warning Saturday night, she had to make a decision -- fast. Mock told her 10-year-old daughter Paisley to wait at the bottom of the stairs, so she could run upstairs to get her two-year-old grandson Benjamin and bring him down to safety. As she ran to get her grandson, she heard her daughter scream from downstairs.

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Through the windows, Mock saw nothing but black outside. Inside the 44-year-old woman's Bumpass home, the walls started to cave in under the weight of an old tree that had fallen on her 150-year-old home.

"You only have a second to process it all," Mock said about the emergency she found herself in the middle of Saturday night. "I tried to call 911, but the 911 operator could not hear her mean because of the storm."

Mock said as the tree fell and the walls caved in, there was a moment she thought they were going to die.

The three made it to the kitchen. Fear gripped them, but they began to pray.

"God, be with my babies. Let them find their way out. They're not done yet," she recalled saying.

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'Our house is surrounded by big old oak trees," said Paisley. "I was  scared  the back trees would fall so I said 'Please God stop the storm;' I said that like 100 times."

Out of the darkness arrived Louisa County Firefighters who entered the home and brought Mock and the children out to safety.

"The tree was already on the house when we got there," Louisa Fire Chief Marty Hart said. "They were scared to death in the kitchen."

"Where the tree is sticking out, there was a window shot right through there," he added.

Mock and the children were not hurt, but her family lost everything in the storm.

The place  was left in shambles. Now a family with no homeowners insurance is left to figure out how to how to put their lives back together.

Though left with no material things, 10 year-old Paisley said she immensely grateful for what they do have.

"That's the most important thing to me in my whole life -- my family," she said. "Even if we lived in a tent, no matter where we are I just want to be with them."

"We found a sweatshirt for the youngest child who was still in diapers and we were able to save some of his milk," Chief Hart said. "But it  was nothing short of catastrophic inside  the residence. A couple of churches have offered to help the family and the fire department is working to get them some clothing."

They are in need of clothes for a 10-year-old girl, 18-year-old daughter and the mom. If you want to help, we can connect you. The family also established a GoFundMe page for the public to make donations.
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