SUFFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- Firefighters had to battle thunderstorms and lightning while trying to free a man who had become pinned under a tree 24 feet off the ground.

Just before 5 p.m. neighbors called Fire & Rescue after hearing a man screaming for help in the 200 block of North Street.

When crews arrived they learned that the man, believed to be in his late thirties, was standing on a ladder and attempting to cut the tree when a 20-foot-long section pinned him from his torso, right arm, and right leg against the fork in the tree.

The man was pinned upside down approximately 24 feet above the ground.

Thunderstorms and lightning made the rescue attempt even more complicated. The man received medical care while crews worked to remove the large section of the tree in order to keep the man from being crushed.

Schadel Sheet Metal Works, Inc. arrived and provided a crane to help move the large section of the tree. Suffolk Iron Works also provided a crane on standby just in case.

Technical Rescue teams from Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, and Norfolk arrived to help Suffolk Fire & Rescue. The man was freed just after 7 p.m.

The man was airlifted by Nightingale to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital for treatment for life-threatening injuries.