Survivors Recovering from Clinton Building Collapse

9 years 6 months 1 day ago March 29, 2007 Mar 29, 2007 Thursday, March 29 2007 Thursday, March 29, 2007 7:55:39 PM CDT in News

Kathy Hill never expected to receive such a dramatic phone call from her husband Monday night.

"He first said, 'I love you.' And that's not uncommon for John because he would call oftentimes and say that and I said, 'I love you, too,'" she recalled. "The next thing he said was 'I mean I really love you.' And I knew then, from the tone of his voice, that something was different."

Hill's husband John was trapped undernearth a steel post and electrical wires in a downtown Clinton building.

"I could tell when he called me how scared he was," she said, "and I've never heard John scared."

She rushed to the Elks Lodge on Franklin Street and was overwhelmed by the scene.

"There were just people everywhere, all over the square."

Kathy waited six hours with family and friends while rescue crews worked through the night and into the next morning.

John Hill finally emerged relatively unhurt from the rubble of the collapsed three-story building at 1:30 a.m. Tuesday.

"Lots of scratches and bruises and I'm stiff and sore," he said. "But, I don't have anything to complain about. I was very fortunate. Some of them came out in a lot worse shape."

John and Kathy's son, a college student, was also in the building, but he escaped soon after it collapsed. The Hill family said the tragedy has taught them not to worry about life's small problems.

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