Massive Tree Falls On Oak Lawn Home During Thunderstorms

CHICAGO (CBS) — It was a close call for a family in southwest suburban Oak Lawn, when a large tree came crashing down on their home during a thunderstorm early Thursday.

The tree — at least three feet in diameter — snapped and fell on the roof of a home in the 5200 block of West Alexander Place around 1 a.m., leaving a stump about 10 feet tall. A thunderstorm warning was in effect at the time.

The tree caused major damage to the home, and blocked the front door. A large branch crashed through a living room window, leaving shattered glass all over the floor.

“We tried getting out the front door, and it knocked the whole overhang off the house, and this huge tree, it’s blocking the door. We tried going through the garage door, couldn’t even get out. I mean, the whole tree knocked the overhang off the garage, and (it’s) blocking the garage door,” homeowner Todd Summerville said.

He and his wife, Heather, said they feel very fortunate considering the damage caused by the fallen tree.

“I didn’t realize the extent of it at first. I just thought a branch blew through the window, and then we opened the window and the front door, and saw how bad it really was,” Heather said.

Heather had just been sitting the living room with their 7-month-old son, Noah, not long before the tree crashed onto their roof and broke the living room window.

“Probably about half an hour before it happened, he had woken up, and I went out to sit on the couch and feed him, and he finished eating, and we went and put him back down to bed, and I went back to bed, and woke up to that,”

When the Summervilles first moved into the home, they were told to take the tree down to avoid this kind of accident. Now, they’re in a tough situation, as they were in the process of listing the home for sale.

“We’ve got a photographer coming next week to take pictures. We just redid the whole inside and made it all pretty, and now this happened,” Summerville said.

A large tree also came down in the Pulaski Park neighborhood in Chicago overnight, damaging at least one parked car and a fence.

Overall, thunderstorms knocked out power to tens of thousands of ComEd customers overnight.

ComEd said crews restored service for 68,000 customers overnight. Approximately 20,000 were still without power as of 7 a.m. The vast majority – about 17,000 – were in Cook County.

Approximately 400 ComEd crews and contractors were working to assess damage and restore power.

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