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'Sitting ducks in a place that's dangerous': Macon family seeks help after tree falls on roof

"The safety of my family here is not safe. It never was,” Jordan Payne explains.

MACON, Ga. — A tree fell through a woman's apartment in the Cove at Ridgewood neighborhood in Macon. This happened early Tuesday morning.

She hasn't been able to get in contact with her landlord to do something about it.  We went to speak with her and neighbors to see how they're doing. 

"Just sitting ducks in a place that's dangerous,” Elyssa Smith says. 

Smith has lived in the Ridgewood apartments since August. She was in bed upstairs early Tuesday– just after midnight– when she heard a loud noise. 

"I was thinking it was the storm starting back up and it was thundering again. Whole time I'm in the bed, ceiling just caving in, everything just falling on me -- glass,” she explains. 

Smith was able to hit the floor and crawl to safety downstairs where her 2-year-old son was sleeping. She's also six months pregnant. 

"It's been raining, so I'm sure I have a lot of furniture damage and clothing damages, but of course, that can all be replaced, because I almost didn't make it if I didn't move as fast as I did,” she says.

Smith says that she's been trying to reach the management company for days now to get help.

"It's hurtful. It's very upsetting because my family is in danger, my neighbors are in danger because it could've fell either way. We're paying y'all to make sure we have a safe roof over our heads, and here it is -- my roof is caving in,” Smith says. 

Jordan Payne, Smith’s neighbor, didn't realize how bad the damage was until the next day. He said when he opened the door to her room, it was like taking a step outdoors. 

Now, he says the power has been shut off to the entire unit and eight of his neighbors are still trying to find somewhere else to go.

"The safety of my family here is not safe. It never was,” he explains.

Payne says having trouble getting in touch with the landlord is not new. 

"Water damage, floor damage. We've been reporting it but can't get in touch with nobody. Email, calls, nobody has never been at the office because I'm always at work.” 

Payne says it isn't fair because they pay their rent to live someplace unsafe.

“The person across from us didn’t have hot water for three months. I still don’t even know if they have hot water. We shouldn’t have to live like this. We really shouldn’t have to,” Payne said.

The American Red Cross has reached out to Smith and Payne to help them out. 

County records say the apartments are owned by an Atlanta company, Cove at Ridge LLC. We could not reach them for comment. 

While we were filming Wednesday, a new management company, Vicinia Property, showed up saying they were hired today. They also said they would remove the tree. 

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