Urbana woman’s house destroyed by tree, says its city property

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Urbana home destroyed by tree

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Urbana city manager says an investigator will have to determine if the tree is on city property.

An Urbana woman’s house has been destroyed by a falling tree that she says is city property and that she’s complained about before.

Beverly Hines and her husband were at their Grand Avenue home early Monday morning when they heard what sounded like a bomb go off and a large tree fall into their home.

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“We heard winds, real strong winds and then we heard a cracking sound,” Hines said, “and the next thing we knew the tree was in the house.”

The pair were trapped in the house until firefighters freed them.

“It’s a total loss,” she said. “There’s not a wall in that house that’s standing straight.”

It’s lucky no one was injured, she said. Her grandson normally stays with her, she said, but fortunately went back to school that night. A limb landed on his bed, she said.

“It would’ve killed him,” she said.

Hines has lived in the home for 27 years, she said, and can’t believe it’s gone.

“I’m still in shock,” she said.

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The tree was on city property, she believes, and she had complained about it in the past when a limb fell off of it. She was told that there was nothing the city could do at the time, she said.

An investigator will have to determine whether or not the tree is on city property, Urbana City Manager Kerry Brugger said.

His office had no record of complaints about the tree, he said. Hines will have to file a claim with the city’s insurance, he said, and an investigator will determine what happened.

“I’m thinking I’m going to have to fight the city on this,” Hines said.

She’s unsure what to do now because she doesn’t have home insurance.

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“We’re at the mercy of people to help us,” she said.

She lost her home insurance because of an old roof, she said, and a new roof was just completed.

“The insurance company said that when we got the roof on, they would re-insure the house,” she said.

She’s been in contact with the American Red Cross, she said, who gave her money to buy clothes. She’s staying with her parents now, but said that’s not a long-term option.

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