Family’s 50ft tree collapse ‘miracle’

Workmen from Mark Ramsden
Workmen from Mark Ramsden
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A Thornton pensioner has described the terrifying moment a 50-foot birch tree smashed through her garden fence.

Heather Reidy, 62, was enjoying a cup of coffee in her living room when the enormous tree suddenly keeled over at around 11am on Thursday and landed on the roof of her Stuart Road home.

Tree fallen on Stuart Road

Tree fallen on Stuart Road

Mrs Reidy said: “I had just finished my house work and was sitting down to look for Christmas present ideas when I heard the most almighty crash-bang-wallop.

“I went over to the window and saw the tree smashed through the garden.

“I was in shock and started shaking. My neighbours shouted through the window to see if I was OK before calling the fire brigade.”

Bispham fire crews attended the scene and evacuated Mrs Reidy from her home, a spokesman said.

Mrs Reidy added: “It’s a miracle nobody was hurt.

“I’m lucky it wasn’t summer time and I wasn’t sunbathing in the garden, as I don’t think I would be alive right now.

“I think an angel must have been watching over me.”

Mrs Reidy’s husband, Peter, 67, said: “The fence must have broken the tree’s fall because it only damaged five or six tiles on the roof. But the garden has been completely destroyed.

“We lost all our garden gnomes and even our pond.”

Shirley Winterbottom, who also lives on Stuart Road, also suffered damage to her garden when the tree fell.

She said: “My 19-year-old daughter phoned me up while I was at work to tell me what had happened. When I came home I couldn’t believe my eyes.

“It’s done a lot of damage to the garden and cracked the stones on my patio.

“I was just grateful that no one was hurt.

“I don’t think anyone is to blame for the accident. It’s just nature.”

Workmen from Mark Ramsden Specialist Tree Felling used a crane to remove the tree from Mr and Mrs Reidy’s garden yesterday.

A Lancashire Fire Service spokesman said: “We received reports of a 50-foot tree falling onto the roof of a house at around 11.20am. One engine attended the scene and firefighters made sure the area was safe before helping to alert a tree surgeon. Nobody was injured and there was minimal damage to the house.”