Hunkered in 'safe room,' Oklahoma family had no idea top floors were blown away
The Wood family's dog, Roxie, stands in front of the family's destroyed home.
May 25th, 2011
03:09 PM ET

Hunkered in 'safe room,' Oklahoma family had no idea top floors were blown away

After crawling and climbing over mangled wooden debris, a couch and a water heater blocking the staircase, we made it, to what used to be the second floor of Frank Wood's home in Piedmont, Oklahoma.

"This is it," Wood said, looking out over his 12-acre lot. "We used to have a beautiful view."

Frank Wood and his two children survived a direct hit on their home by a tornado that ripped across Oklahoma on Tuesday afternoon.

The Woods' home was originally three stories tall, but the top floor is nowhere to be found. Frank Wood's pickup truck is a mangled mess, sitting in a ditch 300 yards from the driveway.

The family survived because of a "safe room" built into the garage. Frank Wood rushed into the safe room and locked it.

Roxie, the Wood family

He says the room is so fortified that he had no idea how bad the damage was until he walked out and realized the top two floors of the house had been blown off.

As the family rushed into the safe room, they weren't able to grab their dog, Roxie. After the storm passed, the kids rushed out to find the tan boxer, but she was gone.

But Wednesday morning, Frank Wood finally got some good news. An oil rig worker almost two miles away had found Roxie wandering around in a field, unscathed except for a small scratch on a front leg.

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Filed under: Oklahoma • On the Ground • Tornadoes
soundoff (143 Responses)
  1. Marco

    Where's Dorothy & Toto?! Quick someone find Dorothy.

    May 26, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Suchi

      That's a bad dog. Bad.

      May 26, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      Demented Americans. Their house gets blown away, and they worry about their dog.

      May 26, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe

      You can tell how advanced a society based on how they treat their animals. If my house was lost, insurance can cover it. But a best buddy can't be replaced.

      May 26, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • IrassJ

      The Wizard of Oz reference is tacky. The comment about being demented because they were concerned for their dog is just plain stupid. The dog is a living being – a member of the family. Clearly, the children love this dog. So, yeah – the first thing to do is find the dog. Duh.

      May 26, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aletheya

      @Richard – sorry your life is so shallow you value material things more than life. A house is just a house. A dog is a living being, and for most Americans, their dog is part of their family. Chase materialism all you want – it's not what's important in life and you can't take it with you. When you're on your deathbed, you won't be thinking "gee, I wish I'd had a better house."

      May 26, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Andrew P.

    sorry...i didn't know that first one posted.

    May 26, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Fuyuko

    Glad to hear the dog survived. =-)

    May 26, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |

    And everyone says I'm nuts for living where there are earthquakes.
    I will take earthquakes over hurricanes and tornadoes
    any day

    May 26, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew P.

      smoking our "medicine" helps too.. "wow, was that an earthquake"?, "no, you're just HIGHly medicated. Now pass the lighter"..

      May 26, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Conkfritter

    Hey Dmoody, they tried to get the dog but dog wouldn't go inside. they had to make a choice close the door or die.Watch the video. Maybe get a shock collar for Palin.

    May 26, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. dissenter

    Great puff piece CNN. Really, stellar reporting here. Why was this not left to the local news in OK?

    May 26, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Guest

    Hey, dissenter, it's called a human interest piece. Unlike you, people all over the country DO want to hear something good coming out of a tragedy like this.

    May 26, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sirius

    Sounds ruff ! Glad all involved are well.

    May 26, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. wickedcricket

    you know the story of the 3 pigs- seems to me a PRACTICAL PIG would build a house of brick in 'tornado alley' – might cost more but it's worth it not to have your home demolished by wind

    May 26, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • susan

      Not very bright are ya buddy...the house was brick and it wouldn't matter in 200 MPH wind.

      May 26, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      Actually, most newer homes built in Oklahoma are made of brick, and the house in this story was completely brick as well; watch the video and that's obvious. People in tornado alley are not ignorant or impractical.... but nevertheless, 100-200 mph winds can destroy a brick home. I have lived in Oklahoma all my life, and we are highly educated on how to prepare and how to react to dangerous storms, yet even in our ability to prepare, we cannot protect our BRICK homes from the power of the storm. Therefore, before you hand out your suggestions to "us ignorant people" you should probably know what you're talking about.

      May 26, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • spec5

      look at pic it WAS a brick house i live in lousyana an i can tell you it dont matter brick or tin or whatever when a tornadoe comes tru its all gone

      May 26, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  10. sarah

    One lucky dog... glad she (& her family) survived 🙂

    May 26, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Kyser

    what a Resilient boxer......

    May 26, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jaclyn

    Front page news? Not necessarily. But it made me misty-eyed in the middle of work and who doesn't need a little cheer in the midst of these disasters – especially when the other front page story on these storms is about a man losing his three year old and fifteen month old.

    May 26, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Karen

      Couldn't agree more, Jaclyn!

      May 26, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      Why don't you cynical, uniformed people join us here in the 21-century where we're not limited by space on the front page of a paper news medium. A one-line, one-photo link is all we need to get here. Besides, this was a wonderful human interest piece with a happy ending. You think it should be buried on page 15 of a local paper? Why not just stick to your favorite gloom & doom stories - they're everywhere.

      May 26, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • jodi

      Sarah, chill. Did you not even read past the first sentence? Jaclyn's comment is NOT cynical at all.

      May 26, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jannynet

    As a transplanted Californian from San Francisco, I'll still take earthquakes over tornadoes and hurricanes. You don't get to watch your doom coming, it just hits and it's done. The tornado effects are horrible. Thoughts and prayers to all in the affected areas. I've had to leave my dog behind to head to a shelter. That's horrible too.

    May 26, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Daniel

    I would never leave my dog behind. Shame on anyone who would.

    May 26, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Loooodjamptom

    It doesn't matter. Planet x. Whatevet, just another day at the office

    May 26, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
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