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Tree smashes through Indy mobile home, leaving couple with one room and little heat

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A woman on the south side of Indianapolis recalls hearing a rumbling sound seconds before a tree limb crushed her family’s mobile home last Saturday.

Jossie Eciwaudah and her husband Ronald say strong winds brought down the dead tree behind their home. The impact caved their roof in and ripped off the back exterior wall.

"The very next split second from the rumble it was on top of us," said Jossie.

The couple says they were sitting on the couch in one of the only untouched rooms.

Split rafters and insulation now hang in their kitchen. The bathroom was destroyed, and a wall in the back bedroom was torn down.

Now, the couple is forced to live in one of the two untouched rooms. The other is filled with the only things they could salvage.

"We’ve tried to do the best we could with what we’ve got, which ain't much," said Jossie.

They say moving on hasn't been easy. Jossie works part-time cleaning homes, and part-time at a seasonal church camp. Ronald was recently laid off.

Without renters insurance, they say they are left with few options. While their landlord offered to temporarily place them in another mobile home, they say that too is unlivable.

Now, they hope to move to a home down the street, but they don't know how they will pay for the first month’s rent and deposit.

Until then, their one room, space heaters, and blankets will have to suffice.

"I just want a place to live and be warm again," said Jossie, "to have a normal life again."

On the night the tree fell, The American Red Cross provided money to cover their immediate needs.

Jossie says they had to spend most of it on their car. The downed limb shattered the windshield. She says if they didn't fix that first, they would be stranded.

The Red Cross says their case workers will revisit the home in the coming days to provide more assistance, and help the family move forward.

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