EXCLUSIVE: Mother of Leavittsburg teen killed during storm speaks out
The mother of 13 year old Brenton Hemberger spoke exclusively to 21 News reporter Sydney Canty after a tree fell on her house in Leavittsburg, killing her son.
"We were just trying to get to him and we couldn't get to him," said Kassandra Hemberger, Brenton's mother. "My fiance ran outside to see if he could get to him from the outside and I was going through underneath and everything to get to him and we couldn't get to him," she said through tears.
With no other options, Hemberger could only encourage her son to hang in there, but it would be hours before the fire department could remove the tree and free Brenton from the rubble.
The fire chief says this is one of the most difficult situations he has ever had to navigate in his 25 years as a fireman and that the tree was just too big for them to move on their own.
"He had not only the tree on top of him, he had part of the roof on him," said Warren Township Fire Chief Joe Natali. "For us to get in there, the building wasn't stable," he said.
Chief Natali needed to enlist help from several other departments as well as companies that specialize in building collapse. He says the home is a total loss.
"It's not structurally sound anymore," Chief Natali said.
If the tragedy Hemberger just experienced wasn't enough, she tells 21 News people have been stealing from her home, she even had police track down a lawn mower that had been taken and sold.
"All I have is my baby's stuff in that house," said Hemberger. "People are stealing the little bit that I do have left that I can't even get to yet because the house is unstable," she said.
Police are constantly driving by to keep a close watch on Hemberger's belongings, as a result.
Hemberger frustrated and in tears says, "they could've taken the entire house, I just want my baby back."
Now, Hemberger is just trying to hold on to all the things she loves about her son to keep her going.
"He hated bullying, he always stuck up for the under-guys, he liked fishing and digging for worms and animals, he always wanted to take in all the strays," said Hemberger. "He was my absolute best friend, my everything," she said.
Hemberger tells 21 News she will put a wooden cross in front of the yellow caution tape of their home for people to leave gifts, balloons or stuffed animals for Brenton. She asks that no one crosses the tape to leave anything.
If you or someone you know would like to donate to help with funeral costs or replacing destroyed items, you can do so with this go fund me link.