One couple is lucky to be alive after an oak tree falls on top of their house while they were sleeping. They made it out safe. But, their house is now destroyed.
Benny Cabral lived in the house. He said he never expected the tree to fall on top of his house in the middle of the night.
“It was like a nightmare,” said Cabral. “Just a big boom you know, then, everything was coming down on me.”
Eloise Lopez said she was asleep downstairs when the tree ripped through their house.
“It sounded like an earthquake,” said Lopez. “I have never heard anything like that.”
Lopez said a hero heard their screams, called 911, then tried to rescue them as first responders arrived.
“I was inside still when he was yelling for me,” said Lopez. “I was inside yelling because I couldn’t come out I was blocked.”
Rodnie Roberts with Tulare City Fire said when they arrived to the house they quickly got to work.
“We were able to break out the framing of the second story window that’s up there and found the elderly male up there,” said Roberts. “We stuck a firefighter up there to help him get out of the window and bring him down the ladder.”
Roberts said as he helped everybody out of the house they were constantly being stung by bees because a beehive was in the oak tree that had fallen.
J. Dean Johns with the city of Tulare said they respond to about 100 oak tree inspections every year. He said they have to give homeowners permission to prune and remove oak trees because they are indigenous to the valley.
“If they express concern that it might be a risk to property, life, or limb we will immediately respond and get out there,” said Johns.
Now, the survivors are out on a limb struggling to move on.
Jessie Demelo is the daughter of Eloise Lopez. She said she is so thankful her mother wasn’t injured.
However, she is wondering what to do now because most of her mother’s belongings are damaged if not gone.
“This is all they owned and had,” said Demelo. “They are two elderly people on SSI and they don’t have anywhere to go.”
Demelo set up a gofundme for her mother. https://www.gofundme.com/elderly-oak-tree-tragedy-in-tulare?member=&utm_medium=email&utm_source=customer&utm_campaign=p_email%2Binvitesupporters