A family member of a man injured while guarding a fireworks tent said a Good Samaritan and a higher power are the reasons he is still alive.
Jim Landis, 73, the night guard at a fireworks tent at Signal Hill Mall, was struck in the head by a two-by-four during a thunderstorm Monday night, his niece said. A wind gust brought down the tent and left Landis injured.
See more photos of the group getting the tent ready at the bottom of this article
“Today we have been praising the Lord that Jim is going to be okay,” Elisa Connolly, Jim Landis’s niece, said as Christian music play in the background.
Connolly said Landis was helped by a Good Samaritan named Tina Smith, who was at a nearby Cash Point ATM when the incident happened and applied pressure to Landis’ injury to stop the bleeding and this helped save his life.
Connolly describes Smith as a guardian angel.
Others jumped in to help, Connolly said. She estimated 10 additional people stopped to offer aid.
“Jim is home now, that is a miracle,” said Andrea Viveros, dayside worker at the fireworks tent. “Life can just change in a blink … we have to keep positive.”
They have been selling fireworks for around 20 years in Statesville and this is the first time anything like this has happened, Connolly said.
“I hope what the enemy meant for evil the Lord will turn into good,” Connolly said. “The little bit of fireworks we lost is nothing compared to a person.”
They lost around 10 percent of their fireworks and have already been able to open up shop again with the help and support of the community.
“Three churches have come out to help today,” Connolly said, expressing gratitude. “People have been so supportive over the years, we are very grateful.”
Even though something bad happened, it is good to know we have a good community in Statesville, Viveros said.
The tent is now up and running, “We are back in business,” Viveros said.
PHOTOS: Fireworks group gets back to business
The fireworks business at Signal Hill Mall was back to full operation by the end of the day on Tuesday. On Monday night, the tent collapsed as a storm rolled through the area, injuring one man. The operators say a Good Samaritan assisted the man, and others helped them get back to business on Tuesday.
Read Brittney Melton's full story here.