A sleeping Dallas couple escaped injury early Monday morning after their garage apartment collapsed, trapping them inside.
At about 7:30 a.m., Frdrick Scott [sic] and his girlfriend were sleeping in their second-floor apartment on the 1400 block of Padgitt Avenue when they were awakened by a loud noise they thought was something hitting their building -- moments later, half of the building suddenly lurched down toward the ground.
Scott said he was trying to get dressed as the building fell, he saw his girlfriend hit the floor and then slide along with the bed toward the wall now closest to the ground.
"She hit the ground, she hit the floor, because the whole bed and everything went down toward one side," Scott said. "She said, 'What happened?' I said, 'This son of a gun done crashed in!"
While Scott and his girlfriend struggled to find a light and their phones, someone called 911. Moments later, Dallas Fire-Rescue firefighters arrived to find Scott and his girlfriend trapped in the apartment, scared but not hurt, with the sounds of creaking and cracking all around them.
Firefighters used a number of struts to stabilize the leaning structure while awaiting a DFR urban search and rescue team who would eventually pull the couple to safety through a window.
Both Scott and his girlfriend were evaluated at the scene but were not severely injured and were not hospitalized.
In an interview with NBC 5, Scott said he first woke up at about 6:45 a.m. and thought he heard lightning, but that it may have been the structure beginning to crumble.
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Scott said he and his girlfriend, who is handicapped, had been living in the apartment while trying to save money for a house and that while the building had been leaning for some time he didn't expect it to actually collapse.
"It's been like that for a while and I keep telling the landlord every time it rains it gets worse," Scott said. "Every time it rains it goes lower, lower and lower."
The landlord said he knew the building was a problem and planned to demolish the structure once the couple moved out.
That demolition ended up taking place Monday morning after fire officials said the structure was no longer stable. Once firefighters removed their struts, a bulldozer was brought in to bring the building down to the ground.
Scott was then able to sift through the debris to see what personal property he could salvage.
"We just paid our rent and we ain't got no more money to make it, so I don't know how we're going to make it through the rest of the month -- unless we go to a shelter or something," Scott said.
NBC 5 has learned the landlord planned to return Scott's August rent to make it easier for the couple to find a new place to live.
"I've been in car accidents and everything, that scared me right there," Scott said. "I've been through a lot, but I ain't never been through nothing like that. I thank God that we made it through it."
NBC 5's Vanessa Brown contributed to this report.