Mattress Saves Man as Tornado Strikes Del.

A bed may have saved a man's life after an EF-1 tornado destroyed his Delaware home.

"The mattress saved him, thank God."

That's how Marydel resident Ronald Killen described what he saw as he pulled an injured neighbor from the rubble of his home.

Investigators from the National Weather Service went to Delaware Friday after the tornado touched down, leaving a couple hurt and five homes destroyed.

Emergency officials say the husband and wife were injured when high winds damaged about a dozen homes in the Kent County community of Marydel.

Killen, a first responder and neighbor, described what he saw.

"I saw this trailer suspended in the air spinning and I saw it hit the ground and explode."

Killen said as that he approached the wreckage, he saw the 51-year-old woman crawl out. Her 51-year-old husband, who had broken his leg earlier this month, was trapped.

"At first we couldn't find him because he was unconscious. Then I heard him cough," said Killen. "He had a bureau, a file cabinet and some rubble piled on top of him -- and a mattress. I think the mattress probably saved him."

Both the man and woman suffered non-life-threatening injuries, according to Delaware State Police.

Colin Faulkner, director of the Kent County Division of Emergency Management, said Thursday afternoon's winds also brought down trees and power lines. He said witnesses had reported seeing a funnel cloud.

"I'm 53 years old -- I've never seen anything in Delaware like that, and I've lived in this area all my life," said Brian Dennis.

The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for the area from 4:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. It later confirmed that an EF-1 storm packing winds of 86 to 110 mph touched down around 5 p.m. in the tiny community.

The storm damaged about 15 structures, leaving five uninhabitable.

Faulkner said no one was reported missing.

Utility companies reported a few thousand customers were without power.

A string of storms pounded the entire area Thursday afternoon and evening, dropping hail and heavy rain in some areas.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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