Near-miss as tree hits house | PHOTOS

A NORTH Albury man feared his rented home would collapse after a large tree fell on it on Saturday when he and his wife were inside.

Darren and Scherri Jarrett were watching the news about 6.10pm when they heard a large crashing sound.

Mr Jarrett said the couple ran outside their Fairview Drive home to find the branches of a 15-metre tree on the roof.

“I thought the whole house was going to collapse — that’s how loud the bang was,” Mr Jarrett said.

“It sounded like lightning hitting the house.

“On a scale of one to 10, it was a 10.”

He immediately cut power to the home.

Damage to the house would have been much more extensive if the gum tree had not fallen partially on to a fence used to block access to a stormwater drain.

“The owners fought hard to get that fence installed to stop kids getting into the drain,” Mr Jarrett said.

“It seems the fence saved the house.

“I view it as a lucky escape for us.

“If it wasn’t for the cyclone fence, it would have taken the house out.”

State Emergency Service staff started removing the tree on Saturday night.

They returned to the property early yesterday to finish the job which took at least six hours.

“They’ve done a brilliant job,” Mr Jarrett said.

“The response was so quick.”

Tarpaulins and sandbags were placed on the roof to keep the wind rain out of the house.

The couple spent Saturday night as guests of the house’s owners before returning to the house last night.

Mr Jarrett said he believed the tree weighed several tonnes.

Albury SES public information officer Tim Keown said strong wind in recent days and soft ground had caused the tree to fall.

“Apart from that incident, it’s been all good in the area,” he said.