ONLY ON ABC7NEWS.COM: Family evacuated after lightning strike splits 100-foot tall tree in Mill Valley

MILL VALLEY, Calif. (KGO) -- It was a rude awakening for some people in Mill Valley this Christmas morning.

Lightning hit a 100-foot tall tree on Waterview Drive, just after 4 a.m. The tree was split in two, and pieces ended up on nearby decks and roofs.

Johannes Rothlind lives next door and he said it sounded like a propane tank going off 10 feet away.

"I just know the force of the blast knocked pictures off our mantel," Rothlind said. "That was just from the force of the lightning. So it was really dramatic."

Rocky Lobos and his family were asleep when it happened.

"We heard a big boom, lightning, and woke us up. Tremendous noise. Amazing, amazing, amazing," Lobos said.

No one was hurt, but there was minor damage to their car.

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"Santa was a little loud this morning, but that's okay. Everybody was safe and everything can be repaired. It was a Christmas miracle," Lobos said.

The fire department and sheriff's office responded to the scene and told the Lobos family they needed to leave their home because the tree was in danger of falling.

"They thought it was going to hit the house so we had to pull all of our animals out and leave," Lobos said.

The family was let back in after a few hours. By nightfall crews had already cut the tree down into pieces.
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