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100-year-old tree crashes through DeLand home overnight

Tree falls during overnight storms

DELAND, Fla. – A woman and her grandson are looking for a new place to live Friday after a 100-year-old tree came crashing through their roof during an overnight storm.

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Jerry Maxwell said it happened just after 1 a.m. as he was falling asleep.

"I heard almost like something was rustling next to the window. That's why thought somebody was breaking into the room, and then the loud boom and that's when the tree, I guess, hit," said Maxwell.

Maxwell said he heard his grandmother scream and ran to the bathroom where a huge tree branch was sticking through the ceiling, feet away from her.

"I ran in to try to get in there and, yeah, sure enough that tree branch is straight through the roof. Right next to the toilet," said Maxwell.

When they were safely outside the house, Maxwell said he saw power lines cradling the huge trunk. Duke Energy crews de-energized the lines after the tree fell. A tree-cutting business assessed the damage Friday morning, and planned to begin cutting the tree down during the afternoon.

Maxwell said his grandmother was too shaken to even speak after the ordeal, but her condition was improving. He told News 6 he believes the power lines may have saved them from the full impact of the tree.

"Makes you really appreciate life a little bit more, realize how quick it can be taken from you," said Maxwell.

The Red Cross is assisting the family members while they work with the landlord to secure a new place to live.


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