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August 2, 2018

Tree crushes part of house, killing 10-year-old girl

Photo/Lawrence Emerson
A neighbor called 9-1-1 at 10:25 p.m. Wednesday to report the incident.
To Help Lydia’s Family
Friends on Thursday established a GoFundMe page to assist the family of Lydia Gherghis.

With a goal of $15,000 the effort, the effort had received 161 donations totaling more than $9,900 in three hours.

Click here to donate.
A 10-year-old girl died Wednesday night when a huge tree fell on her family’s home in a quiet neighborhood just north of Warrenton.

A neighbor called 9-1-1 at 10:25 p.m. to report a “building collapse,” county fire/rescue Assistant Chief Mark Ciarrocca wrote in a brief synopsis Thursday morning.

“Units arrived on scene to find large tree that fell into the house,” Mr. Ciarrocca said. “Adult occupants reported child trapped inside. Child located and found to have fatal injuries.

“Crews worked to stabilize scene. Turned scene over to FCSO (Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office).”

On Thursday afternoon, the sheriff’s office released the girls name: Lydia Gherghis.

The fallen hardwood, which from the street looks to be about 2 feet in diameter near its base, crushed the left end of the split-foyer home.

“The tree was on top of the young lady” in her bed, Warrenton volunteer Assistant Fire Chief Sam Myers said Thursday morning. “She had gone to bed around 9:45.”

The first firefighters arrived within six minutes of the call, Mr. Myers said.

Quickly assessing the situation, they called for help from Prince William County’s technical rescue team, based in Gainesville. With “hydraulic struts,” firefighters raised the huge tree enough to remove the victim.

After authorities confirmed the girl’s death, first responders lined both sides of the driveway as her draped body and her teddy bear were taken to a waiting hearse.

The only other occupants of the house, her parents suffered no injury.

The death of a child ranks as one of the most difficult situations for first responders. A sheriff’s office chaplain and mental health counselors came to the scene, Mr. Myers said. A critical stress debriefing for the first responders will take place Thursday night at the Warrenton firehouse, he added.

The house stands off the cul-de-sac at the end of Highmeadow Place in the Cedar Run Subdivision.

Heavy rain again fell on the area Wednesday night, as one of the wettest periods in recent memory continued.

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BJ · August 2, 2018 at 10:36 am
Oh my, this is one of those tragic accidents that is just unimaginable. Condolences to the family.

Blaine Johnson
LindaW · August 2, 2018 at 10:22 am
Our deepest sympathies to the parents and family, we hold you in our thoughts and prayers.
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