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Mother dead, daughter injured after tree fell on house in Gaffney

Published: May. 26, 2022 at 10:11 PM EDT
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GAFFNEY, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - A mother is dead and a daughter is injured after a tree fell on a house in Gaffney.

The Gaffney Fire Department responded to the scene at around 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 26, on East Jeffries Street.

Fire Chief Jamie Caggiano told Fox Carolina that there were two women sitting on the front porch of the house and four kids inside. The kids were able to crawl out the window.

They say the women, the 78-year-old mother and 58-year-old daughter, were trapped on the front porch of the house.

Sadly, the mother died at the scene, according to the Cherokee County Coroner’s Office.

The coroner identified the woman as 78-year-old Thelma Jordan Carroll.

According to the coroner, Carroll was sitting on a wooden bench on the front porch of her daughter’s home at about 4:50 p.m. The coroner says it is believed that straight-line winds caused a large tree to fall on the house causing the roof to collapse, trapping her and her daughter, 58-year-old Phyliss Knighten, under the debris.

“It took fire and rescue personnel from Gaffney City and Cowpens Fire Departments along with a Spartanburg towing company over two and a half hours to free Knighten who was transported to Spartanburg Medical Center for treatment,” Coroner Dennis Fowler said. “The tree was rotten on the inside near its base which weakened it with the heavy wind gusts. This is an absolute tragedy and our prayers are with this family.”

The National Weather Service says the tree fell due to thunderstorm winds and not a tornado.