Tree crashes through Diablo home

February 18, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Here's a frightening story: you're sitting in your home and without warning, a tree crashes through the roof. It happened on Monday and it hasn't even started raining yet. The tree fell into a home in Diablo east of Danville.

We're told this was not a weather-related incident, but there could be weather-related problems with that storm on the way and now that this family's home roof has been crushed.

Homeowner Wendy Burman was calmed by some wine brought over by a neighbor and recalled the sound of her home being crushed by a nearly 400-year-old oak tree.

"At first I thought it was an earthquake and I thought if it's an earthquake the whole Bay Area is doomed because it just seemed so massive where I was," said Burman.

It was a sight for the whole country club town of Diablo to see. Neighbors stopped by to see the massive 80-foot valley oak that crushed a family's roof, their car, and the primary mode of transportation around here -- their golf cart.

"Well you know that's my Dad's favorite toy, so he's a little bummed I can tell. You can see it in his face right now," said Cody Burman, the homeowner's son.

Homeowner, Pete Burman, says he was in the family room and his wife was in the kitchen when the branches broke through the ceiling.

"Basically the tree we thought was healthy. We had trimmed it and kept it proportioned correctly," said Pete.

"Well from the outside it probably did look that way, and once it fell you could see more of what was going on with the roots themselves," said Steven Duncan from Atlas Tree Service.

The arborist who responded says the valley oak has a circumference larger than the family dining table, and it was riddled with a root disease called armalaria. Sap dripped from the limbs of the tree showing just how much water an old oak can retain.

"We're lifting this with a small crane, but we're going to get a bigger crane to get the massive part of it off," said Duncan.

The Burmans were happy no one was injured, but they won't be able to stay in their home because it has been red-tagged until a structural engineer can inspect it.


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