SAFE: John Ferronato and his son Jess, 12, took refuge from the tornado in the vault of their home, that once served as the tow
SAFE: John Ferronato and his son Jess, 12, took refuge from the tornado in the vault of their home, that once served as the tow

Family forced to shelter in old bank vault

By HELEN JACK

WHEN John and Julie Ferronato bought Dunoon's old bank 15 years ago, they never thought its vault would become their shelter.

Only John, his son, Jess, and their border collie Oscar were at home when the tornado struck.

They never saw it coming, but heard its deafening roar and took refuge in the vault.

"I thought the whole house was going," John said.

"The whole house was shaking and the floor boards were lifting.

"It was terrifying."

When they emerged from the vault they discovered half their iron roof bent upwards and heavy rain pouring through the exposed ceiling.

"The backyard is totalled," said John.

"And the trusses in the roof are snapped."

After the storm, Jess said he was still scared because he thought the tornado might return.

Julie said when they bought the bank and saw the vault they discussed using it as a place of refuge.

"We are glad we did," she said.



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