Family without home after tree topples house

By Elizabeth Campbell, General assignment reporter, ecampbell@wjxt.com
Published On: Aug 06 2014 09:15:17 AM EDT
Updated On: Jun 26 2014 08:09:19 AM EDT
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

A Westside woman and her kids are lucky to be alive after a giant tree fell on the middle of their home Wednesday night.

The tree fell on a home located on the 5600 block of Atlee Avenue near Ernona Street in Jacksonville.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office had to knock on the woman's door and tell her a tree had fallen on her house because she thought it was lightning and wasn't even aware.

"I thought the lightning hit the house. I was about to take a shower to go to church and it started pouring down, I didn’t think anything of it. I was laying down and JSO knocked on my door and said 'are you okay' and I said 'okay about what?' and he said 'ma'am, a tree fell through your roof'," said Vatroni Reed, the owner of the home.

Reed said there's no damage on the inside the home. Although Reed and her family can't live there right now until the roof is repaired, she said she is just blessed they are alive.

"Me and my kids are alive and well thank you Jesus to God be the glory," said Reed.

Reed is thanking God she and her children survived the large tree falling on their home as powerful storms rolled through Wednesday night.

11-year-old Daniel Cerros heard the lightning, looked out his window and saw the tree beginning to fall. He said he thought it was going to fall on his house, saying it was very scary but he is happy that no one was hurt.

"At first I saw lightning and when I saw the lightning, it hit the tree and after it hit the tree, I saw the tree falling and I didnt know which way it was falling, "said Cerros.

Reed didn't even realized a tree fell on her house at first because it didn't come through the inside, something else she says she is thankful for.

"Theres no damage on the inside, you can see nothing it must have fell through the roof on the inside on the attic but as far as on the inside of the house nothing came through," said Reed. "I'm okay becasue I know God is good and he kept me so to God be the glory, thats all I have to say."

Jacksonville Fire Rescue was in the neighborhood Wednesday night to make sure everyone was okay and to assess the damage, and JEA went out as well to turn the power off to make sure the neighbors stayed safe.

The Red Cross is helping the family and they will be staying elsewhere for the time being until they can figure out how to get everything fixed.

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