Man thanks neighbor for saving his family during tornado - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Man thanks neighbor for saving his family during tornado

Photo credit: WDAM Photo credit: WDAM

One Petal man is thanking a neighbor for saving his family during the deadly tornado early Saturday morning in the Pine Belt.

Ronny Kemp said he was at work when the tornado was heading to his Petal neighborhood.  His wife and two daughters, ages seven and 13, were at home.

"My wife texts me saying they were in the hallway because the warning went off on their phones," Kemp said. "Shortly after that, she said the roof was gone."

Kemp said his wife and daughters then moved to the bathroom, where the roof ripped off.  He said his neighbor could hear the screaming and see the light of his wife's cell phone from across the street and ran over in the storm to help.

"He carried my seven-year-old out and gave his shoes to my 13-year-old," Kemp said. "He cleared all the glass out of the way with his bare feet."

Kemp's neighbor did not want to talk to WDAM crews on camera.  He said his wife and daughters were OK, just recovering from some minor scrapes and bruises. He said he plans to rebuild in Petal.

"We want to get back to dirt and rebuild. We love Petal and this community, so we definitely want to rebuild here," he said. 

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