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House severely damaged by fallen tree

By Ryan Hamilton-Davis Tuesday, April 29 2014

Less than 12 hours after saving their house from a bush fire, blazing on the Northern Range, the Inglesbirth family is now search for assistance, because a tree fell on their house.

For much of Sunday evening, Latisha Inglesbirth, 24, was at home, while her father Glen Inglesbirth was away on business. Along with her neighbours on Upper Ariapita Road, St Ann’s they were battling a bush fire that had made its way to the St Ann’s area. While Fire Services were fighting another blaze nearby, the community members, led by Firefighter Anthony James formed a bucket brigade to douse the 25-foot-high blaze that was literally in the backyard of the community.

The fire was eventually snuffed out, and the Inglesbirth family felt they were safe, but at about 3.30 am yesterday, when Inglesbirth and her boyfriend Stephen Jaggesar were awakened from their sleep by a loud crash. When Inglesbirth investigated the noise she discovered a large tree lodged on the roof of her house.

According to her, the tree had been on fire during the blaze, and although the fire was doused on the outside, she suspected that the tree had been hollow, and fire was still smouldering on the inside of the tree trunk.

Inglesbirth said when she was awakened by the crashing sound, she had no doubt in her mind that it was the tree which had fallen on her roof.

“We were expecting it to fall, but we didn’t know it would fall on the roof. We may not be able to salvage that roof now.” she declared.

When they assessed the damage, they discovered that the roof over the kitchen and bathroom had caved in, and there was structural damage, by way of hairline fractures on the building.

The family has since called the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management for assistance, but up to press time they had not gotten a response. Meanwhile, neighbours and relatives came together to assist in doing damage control.

“Despite the roof, I think the house is still liveable for now. We may just have to put a piece of tarpaulin on the roof to stop the rain. The first thing we have to do is get the tree off the roof. Nothing could happen before that.” Inglesbirth said. Since last Wednesday, a rash of bush fires have ignited on the Northern Range, spreading in all directions. Fire Services have since then been battling the flames.

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