Ashlee Johnson felt a rush of panic early Thursday morning when she awoke to a crashing sound and saw drywall falling from her bedroom ceiling. Her first instinct was to check on her kids.

Her four-year-old son Amias was fine, but she couldn’t get to her one-year-old daughter Aasha.

“I go to open the door. I can’t open it,” said Johnson, “so I’m pushing, pushing, pushing.”

She would later learn a rotten tree from her neighbor’s yard had fallen onto the roof of the home she’s renting. But in that moment, all she wanted was to get to her daughter, who was screaming.

She managed to crack the door open and was horrified at what she saw.

“Looking at your kid, and a tree is about to fall on her, and there’s nothing you can do,” recalled the young widow. “I just felt helpless. I normally would have my husband for stuff like that, but I lost my husband last year.”

She called 911 and waited.

“It felt like an hour. It was probably 10 minutes,” she said.

When firefighters arrived, they cut a hole in the door and pulled the little girl to safety.

“They put my baby in my arms, and I just cried and cried and cried because I was so scared,” Johnson said. “I could’ve hugged them if it wasn’t for coronavirus.”

A GoFundMe has been set up to assist the family.

Copyright 2021 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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