Actor John Goodman Comforts Local Family After Tornado Whacks O'Leary's
Young parents and baby survive winds when house blown apart in storm; actor is at O'Leary's.
Actor John Goodman survived the tornado winds that hit O'Leary's Restaurant noon Friday in Sunset Hills and was seen in the parking lot comforting a young family who lost their nearby home.
"He wanted to be sure we were OK," Fontella Johnson said. "He said, 'Are you all right?' " Johnson, her 9-month-old baby and baby's father hurried into the basement of their rental home just seconds before the house blew off its foundations at 3863 S. Lindbergh in Sunset Hills.
"I hear a loud sound. Then my ears popped and the lights went out and a loud whoosh. Everything was swept away and we looked up and there was the sky," Johnson said afterward.
Goodman, recognized for his role as Dan Conner in the hit television series Roseanne, was seen Friday outside O'Leary's—a Sunset Hills pub which he co-owns with Kevin O'Leary—in a trench coat, in the aftermath of the storm.
"Goodman was just sitting alone on a bench," according to Jeff Durbin, an employee of a company that does clean-up and restoration.
"His trench coat was covered in dirt. When the police asked if anyone wanted to move their cars and leave, he was one of the ones who got up," Durbin said. Police had roped off the strip mall parking lot surrounding O'Leary's on Lindbergh Boulevard at Eddie&Park Road.
The lot was filled with broken glass and damaged cars.
O'Leary's Restaurant suffered damage from the high winds and according to O'Leary, they had been moving guests toward the windowless restrooms when the winds struck. Windows were blown out on the eatery.
Before Goodman left O'Leary's parking lot he made his way over to the young couple and their baby.
The young family was huddled together, trying to wrap their brains around what had just happened. Tony Tumminia, the baby's father, was making calls on a borrowed cell phone, and the mother stood alone.
"It was me, the baby, the baby's father Tony, and Tony's dad. We all ran downstairs," Johnson said.
"All we had when we left the house, was our baby," Johnson said. Members of Johnson's family had gathered to offer their support.
"My niece's house is just gone," according to Lisa Johnson, Fontella's aunt. "They hid in a little crawl space in their basement."
Police approached the young couple from time to time in the parking lot, promising to take them over to where the house had been, to look for belongings.
A window was also blown out on Enterprise Bank at the corner of Lindbergh and Eddie&Park.
The sign for "Sound Audio" was broken in half. Buildings just south of Growler's Pub were blown to the ground and by mid-afternoon on Friday, the scene in the 3800 block of South Lindbergh still seemed chaotic.