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Large oak tree crashes onto Paso Robles home; residents unhurt

A large tree toppled onto a house on the 2300 block of Vine Street in Paso Robles on Friday morning, destroying a garage, slicing into a living room and barely missing a man sleeping inside.

“One rather large branch came through the roof, all the way to the floor,” said Charles Lorenzen, the city’s maintenance services supervisor. “Very scary.”

When that branch fell, part of it was propped up by another limb and settled about four feet above resident Mike Rees’ head, his son Shawn Rees said.

The approximately 100-year old oak, with a trunk about 3.5 to 4 feet in diameter, ripped from the ground during the storm and fell around 4:30 a.m. The cause appeared to be root rot problems associated with the rising water levels in a creek that runs along the side of the home where the tree once stood, Lorenzen said.

No one was seriously injured when the tree fell, but the home’s roof and the back support wall suffered significant damage, Lorenzen said. The garage was destroyed.

Carol Rees, Shawn Rees' mother, was also home when the tree fell but wasn't hurt. Shawn Rees was in Los Angeles at the time.

The family is staying in their travel trailer in a neighbor’s yard until they figure out a more permanent shelter. It could be three to six months before the home is completely repaired, officials told Shawn Rees.

The cost of the damage hasn't been determined yet.

The city closed Vine Street in front of the house for a short time Friday morning to accommodate the crane used to lift the trunk section off the house.

Read more on this story in Saturday’s edition of The Tribune.

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