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Storm rips roof off of Grand Prairie warehouse

The warehouse belonged to a nonprofit which helps those in need around the world.

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas — A Grand Prairie warehouse that serves a humanitarian company has been severely damaged by strong winds and hail during the thunderstorms Thursday.

The storms tore the roof off of the building where World Vision houses thousands of goods. The Christian-based nonprofit helps those in need around the world.

A total of 13 people were inside the warehouse when the storm damaged the entire back portion of the building. First responders told us what the employees decided to do next is what helped keep them safe

“My mind was like, 'run', so that’s what we did, we ran,” said Larry Sutton, a long-time World Vision employee. 

Sutton said the storm rolled in just 15 minutes before closing.

“I was fixing to go back to the warehouse and move the forklift and something didn’t feel right, and I just stopped, and I could feel the wind coming through," he said.

The lights started to flicker, and Sutton said he knew it was time to act.

“I told everybody to follow me to take cover and by that time, the roof started peeling off and that’s when everything started coming down," Sutton said.

All the employees rushed to the bathrooms. It was the only area providing them with some type of protection. First responders at the scene said things could have been much worse.

“It’s hard to control mother nature, come to find out, that when the roof went, it took all of the gas pipes, the sprinkler pipes, everything with it when the roof blew off the building," Grand Prairie Fire Department Battalion Chief Wendell Grider said.

Prior safety training helped employees inside know what to do during the severe weather emergency, and they were thankful to see the sun Friday morning.

“Oh, I’m feeling good. Everybody got out safely,” said Sutton.

Property owners of the warehouse said the building will be repaired.

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