A pensioner has spoken of her shock after a giant oak tree crashed down on her home in Northam.
Brenda Crawford said fate saved her from being crushed by the falling tree at Lenwood Country Park on Thursday evening after a period of bad weather.
The 83-year-old normally would have been preparing her evening meal in the kitchen when the tree fell through the ceiling at around 4.45pm.
But instead ‘something told her’ to go and visit her neighbour on the opposite side of the road.
“I made a cup of tea and sat there and thought, I should go and see my neighbour, but I was tired and didn’t feel up to it,” Brenda told the Gazette.
“But then something told me I should, so I went over.
“I was only gone for 10 minutes when my other neighbour heard the most terrific bang and thought there had been a car accident or something.
“If I had been in my kitchen as I normally am at that time, I would have been under the rubble; I wouldn’t be here now.”
Brenda said she was shocked and upset when she saw the tree had engulfed the house she had lived in for the last 11 years.
The property is now not safe to enter, and work is still ongoing to remove the tree, which is also blocking one of the entrances to the country club.
It is understood a crane is due to remove the tree tomorrow (Thursday).
Brenda is currently staying with neighbours but said it could be several months until her own property is fit to move back into.
Despite being left homeless, it’s the damage to sentimental items and memories which have been the biggest loss for Brenda.
The beautiful garden she created in memory of her late husband Vernon, where his ashes are scattered, has been destroyed by the tree.
“The last thing we bought together was a beautiful table which was just by the window which caved in,” she said.
“I’m hoping I might be able to get it fixed.
“Luckily my pictures of my grandchildren are ok because that would have upset me greatly if they had been damaged.
“Everybody here at Lenwood has been so wonderful though; I don’t think I’ve ever had so many hugs and kisses.
“It still makes me shiver when I think about it; it makes me feel cold.
“I’ve tried to make a joke about it but I really do think it was fate that I wasn’t in the house.”