TODAY   |  March 01, 2014

3 people rescued after avalanche crushes home

An avalanche came crashing down onto a Montana neighborhood, rolling onto a house and sending debris flying. Rescuers rushed to the scene, and worked together to free three people trapped under the snow. NBC’s Ron Allen reports.

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>>> we go now to montana and the site of a terrifying avalanche overnight that slammed into a residential neighborhood, burying three people alive. ron allen has the latest for us. ron, good morning.

>> good morning, lester. yes, the snow slid right on top of a house in western montana in the city of missoula, sending debris flying and rescuers scrambling. it happened without warning. the avalanche came crashing down on to a western montana neighborhood. crushing one home and trapping three people, including an 8-year-old boy.

>> the other one's still got to come in.

>> reporter: rescuers rushed to the scene.

>> anybody's got an avalanche probe, bring it up.

>> reporter: while residents did everything they could to get rid of the snow so they could help get to the family inside.

>> i looked outside and everyone was running with shovels.

>> reporter: about an hour after the search started, that young boy was pulled from the debris. while he was rushed to the hospital, the frantic search continued for two elderly people still trapped inside. eventually, signs of life . both were found and brought to safety. missoula residents stunned that something like this could happen in their backyards.

>> i just can't believe there would be one that would kind of do as much damage, so i was really shocked.

>> reporter: but grateful this morning for the kindness of strangers.

>> i thought it was amazing how many people were out here to help.

>> reporter: the elderly couple was said to be in critical condition this morning. we have no word on how the little boy is doing. residents who live in the neighborhood say they've never seen anything like this before. and by the way, this avalanche is not related to the stormy weather making its way across the country.

>> amazing to watch people pitch in, though.

>> miracle.

>> i'm glad they got them all out. thanks, ron.