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Neighbors rescue family of six after tree crushes home, trapping them inside

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Posted at 6:23 PM, May 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-15 18:23:42-04

SEFFNER, Fla. — A huge tree crushed an entire home with a family of six trapped inside.

"I never would’ve thought that a tree would fall on my house. Literally, it felt like an earthquake," said Nickole Stephan.

On Monday night part of a huge tree crashed through Stephan's Seffner home just after 9 p.m.

"Trying to open the girls’ room and nothing but tree, oh it was so scary," said Stephan. 

Stephan, her boyfriend, and her four children were all trapped inside.

"My youngest had to come through the tree to get to me because the way it fell, it was positioned on top of their bed they were sleeping on," said Stephan.

Kevin Tims lives next door and rushed over when he heard the crash.

"There was like eight or nine of us lifting that roof up to get everybody out of the house," said Tims. 

Stephan says thanks to her neighbors, her family was able to get out with not so much as a scratch on any of them.

"They were protected, and I thank the Lord for it," said Stephan.

Stephan says things could’ve been so much worse.

"Right there is our living room and normally he sits in that chair and plays his game. But last night I asked him for a back rub and that was the only reason he wasn’t in that chair," said Stephan.

Stephan says her family has a new place to go and people from her work have donated clothes for her kids. She says though they lost a lot — she feels so thankful that her family is ok.

"Go to bed every night and tell everybody you love them. Be thankful for the things you have because anything can happen," said Stephan.