Tree falls on North Newton residence

Rodger Nugent stands in front of his house in North Newton after a large tree fell on his house. Wendy Nugent/Newton Now

By Wendy Nugent, Newton Now

NORTH NEWTON—Although he lives in the Land of Oz, Rodger Nugent of North Newton is lucky his house didn’t drop on him Thursday morning after a tree, weighing thousands of pounds, fell on his home.

“If I had no structure above me, the tree would’ve fallen directly on me,” he said.

Neither he, nor his cat, were injured.

Nugent said it happened around 4 a.m. Thursday as he watched TV.

“I’d just gotten back from working on a late project, and I was hanging out on the couch with my kitty Nova, and then all of a sudden, we noticed a lot of lightning going on outside, and we heard a huge crack of what I thought was thunder,” Nugent said.

The noise, however, was different than any thunder he had ever heard.

“I heard this loud boom noise,” he said. “It was sort of a rolling boom noise. Everything in my house started shaking. I could hear all of my dishes rattling around in my cabinets. The windows were bouncing in and out. They were kind of bowing in and out with pain.”

His cat looked around after the 15-second boom, Nugent said, acting like she knew something was different.

Nugent said he then looked out his front window and saw nothing out of the ordinary, except for some lightning. About 30 minutes later, he decided to go outside and check, thinking maybe a branch had fallen on his house.

He was in for a surprise, since the entire large, about a 4-feet-wide white ash tree had fallen on his house. He hadn’t been able to see it from his living room window because the tree framed his house; it wasn’t visible from inside.

The tree was about 4 inches from demolishing his cars.

“The first thing I did was move my cars about 20 feet back as far as they would go,” he said, adding he then called the insurance company, and they got right on the situation. As of Thursday night, tree workers were busy cutting down the tree.

They told Nugent they needed to get there quickly because it was an emergency situation because the house could give way.

Nugent wasn’t sure how old the tree was or who planted it, although he said his house was built in 1952.

He said the tree is mature.

“Somebody thought it was from the original neighborhood,” Nugent said about the tree. “So it’s from the ‘50s then.”