“I took my pocket knife and I cut her hair off,” Firefighters remember the rescues from May 20, 2013

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MOORE, Okla. - A small elephant trunk grew into a large barrel tornado, hitting Newcastle and heading straight for Moore on May 20, 2013.

Post-storm analysis revealed the tornado looped over the 7-Eleven before jogging southeast for a direct hit of the Moore Medical Center and the heart clinic.

"Looking straight north on Telephone Road from 19th Street, I could just tell, power lines had fallen, power poles were broke, that when we started seeing a lot of destruction," said firefighter Chad Cannon.

"So I ran up there and was like, 'So what do you have?' And they said, 'There's about 17 or 18 people trapped underneath this building right now.' And it just looked like a pile of rock," said firefighter Terry Morrison. He feared the worst, thinking, "I was looking at this building going, how could anybody live through this?"

Morrison described the scene of the rescue saying, "if you just take everything and put it in a blender and then throw it all together, I mean, there was little rabbit holes, I kind of classify as, you can work your way through."

The firefighters guided people through a tight, concrete maze.

"A lot of them just needed help. A lot of them needed direction, hey, just follow me. This way, crawl through this," Morrison said.

For hours, one-by-one, 14 people miraculously climbed out alive. Three people were still missing.

"I remember looking at Chad and Chance and I said, 'I think there might be somebody underneath us,'" Morrison told News 4.

"So, he crawls in there, I crawl in right behind him. He says, 'I've got somebody here.' I could hear a woman's voice," Cannon said.

Morrison and Cannon continued to navigate through the debris.

"I came cross a cabinet and I was telling Chad, 'Hey, there's a cabinet here, I have to get it out of the way,' and about that time, I realize there was a person's hand sticking out," Morrison said.

"I remember him asking for a Phillips head screw driver so he could take the hinges out of the cabinet, take the cabinet apart to get this lady out," Cannon recalled.

But, she wasn't the only one in the debris.

"She crawled past me and that's when I realized somebody else was in there. And that's all I could see, was an eyeball. I remember telling Chad, 'I think there's somebody dead here.' He said, 'Really?' I'm looking up at him, he says, 'Really?' and I saw her blink! I said, 'Are you alive?' and she said, 'Yeah.' I was stunned," Morrison said.

"Is there something holding on to you?" Morrison asked the woman.  "She said, 'Yeah, my hair.' I took my pocket knife and I cut her hair off. It was all I could do. There was nothing else. I kind of crawled back past her and that was the end of the day. And I remember coming out of the hole and there were a hundred firemen."

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