North Bay woman nearly crushed by tree

March 5, 2009 7:50:37 PM PST
A North Bay woman had a rude awakening Thursday morning when she narrowly missed being pinned under a pine tree that fell on her house. The county is warning everyone to have their big trees checked out in this wet, windy weather.

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Firefighters say the woman who lives in the unit crushed by the tree was asleep when it came down early Thursday morning.

"It's a one room mother-in-law unit; the tree actually fell right over the bed, couple feet over the bed, luckily there was a large oak tree that held it off of her so she was able to get out," Southern Marin Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Jeff Allen said.

Next door neighbor Cheryl Hill got up to investigate just after 4:30 a.m. when she heard the tree falling.

"It was really loud, it was a lot of breaking wood," Hill said.

The county says no one is allowed to enter the small house. The top of the tree also damaged the larger house in front where one man got out safely. After the tree is removed, the county will take another look and decide if it is safe to live in the unit.

The woman in the back unit and the man in the front are both renters.

County building inspector Dana Ansari says pine trees have notoriously shallow roots, which are a bad combination with rain and wind; homeowners should have an arborist evaluate their trees.

Hill has three pine trees in her backyard.

"I have a relative in the tree industry; I think we'll give him a call," Hill said.

The property management company says the woman who lives in the back unit is shaken up but OK. Her main worry right now is how to get her belongings, including her car keys and id, out of there.

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