Tree that fell on house was scheduled to be cut down next week

12:35 PM, Jul 6, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- This is a story of "almosts."

A tree fell on a house during the afternoon rains in southeast Atlanta Friday evening and caused extensive damage to the house.

And that tree collapse was almost avoided because the tree was scheduled for removal -- next week.

The homeowner was almost seriously injured when the tree came down on his house -- and that's the good news, he's okay.

At about 8:00 p.m. Friday, just off of Kirkwood Avenue in the Reynoldstown neighborhood, a giant, old White Oak just fell over, like a teetering bowling pin toppling onto its side.

It fell onto Michael McReynold's house on Kenyon Street.

It fell as if in slow motion, McReynolds said.

The tree crushed the front of his house, and also his truck.

It was his neighbor's tree, his across-the-street neighbor -- that's how huge the tree is.

The tree was a threat, everyone knew it, the neighbor had actually scheduled to have it cut down next week.

And McReynolds was planning to get his house insured, he almost did it Friday, but didn't.

He said he had been having nightmares about the tree falling onto his house.

Friday night, it did. And he had to crawl through debris to escape.

The tree took out power lines and a transformer when it came down. Georgia Power crews arrived within an hour to begin repairing the lines and restoring electricity to the neighborhood.

The owner of the tree was not at home and could not be reached Friday night for comment.

McReynolds talked with 11Alive News soon after he escaped:

About 8:00, I was just doing some work on the computer, and I was sitting in the front. I could see out the window. And suddenly it just got really, really dark. It got darker and darker and darker. And then I saw the branches coming down toward me, and just green, and the house started being crushed.

And I mean I knew this tree was coming down. We already talked to the lady [across the street] about removing it. People were supposed to come next week and remove it.

[He said he's been having nightmares about the tree falling on his house]

Yeah, I was really scared. When I saw it falling, I didn't know what to do. I leapt out of my chair, and then I started climbing underneath my desk, because I have a big metal desk in my office.

The house is in pretty bad shape.

[Weeks ago, his neighbor called a tree service], she had it looked at, and she actually had scheduled the tree guys to come out this next week to remove it. And I actually talked to the tree guys a couple of days ago, and they didn't think it was a big deal. But obviously with all this rain that we've had, it's a pretty big deal.

She was trying to be pro-active about it. But, unfortunately, the tree just fell anyway. And it really sucks for me because I don't actually have insurance on this house, because I wasn't able to get insurance when I first moved in. And I own the house outright, in cash, and I was trying to get insurance over the last couple days. And obviously yesterday was a holiday. And I was going to call today and get it locked down, and I just got distracted with other things. We'll see how it works out. I mean I have talked with her beforehand and I sent her a letter and stuff, and so maybe her insurance company will cover it.

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