Tree splits complex, smashes truck in midtown

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ATLANTA - A Channel 2 Action News crew is at 13th Street northeast between Piedmont Avenue and Peachtree Street, where a huge tree fell, crushing a truck and part of an abandoned apartment complex shortly after noon.

Channel 2's John Bachman shared a photo of the damage on Sunday around 12:30 p.m.

Heavy storms appeared to be a factor in the incident. Atlanta police were seen roping off the scene. No injuries were reported.

Channel 2's Amanda Cook is working to get more information.

Cook spent the morning speaking with residents affected by overnight and early-morning storms that caused power outages and sent trees crashing down.

In Stone Mountain, Rusty the rescue dog is getting full credit for saving a home and saving the life of the woman who lives there.

"Rusty is an awesome dog. I've known him for a few years. He keeps an eye out for our house, too," said neighbor Roy Charles.

Charles said the lightning in the area of Hardwood Court was intense overnight.

"(It) actually knocked some pictures off our walls, so I was concerned about the chances of fire," Charles said.

The DeKalb County Fire Department said one homeowner had a feeling Saturday night that lightning struck her house.

"It knocked the power out in one of the rooms. She checked the breaker, and she couldn't get the power back on so that was an indication there was a lightning strike," Charles said.

She stayed awake worrying but finally fell asleep late Sunday morning until Rusty insisted she wake up.

That's when she saw dark spots on the wall and called 911.

"It was smoldering, and there were small amounts of flames in the attic and in the wall on the second floor," Charles said.

Fire crews say the home suffered about a 25 percent loss but it can be repaired, thanks to a pretty special dog that was once rescued himself.

"This is a testament to that. They are truly creatures beyond our imagination," Charles said.

"The dog helped her out, and hopefully prevented something tragic," said DeKalb County Fire Capt. Kevin Cavanaugh.

In south Fulton, crews chopped down and removed a tree that blocked traffic on a busy road. Campbellton Road was closed near Camp Creek Parkway, so crews could clear all the debris. The tree also fell on power lines.

Power crews restored service to neighbors in that area around 11 a.m.


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