JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Jacksonville family has found themselves without a home after a tree came crashing down onto their property during a severe storm last week.
Nick Gibson was at the scene where the incident occurred and spoke with one of the homeowners who firmly believes that this unfortunate incident could have been prevented.
The homeowner believes that the tree was on his neighbor’s vacant property, but it also encroached upon an easement owned by the City of Jacksonville.
Eric LeClair, a resident of Jacksonville, recounted the terrifying moment, stating, “It was super loud.”
LeClair and his family are currently homeless after a massive tree not only fell onto his neighbor’s house but also onto his own Jacksonville home.
LeClair explained, “This tree behind me split in half, that half fell onto this house destroying it. We were home at the time in our bedroom.”
Terrified by the situation, LeClair and his family decided to leave their home, fearing that the remaining portion of the tree would crash into their house.
“We left in the middle of the night because the tree that remained was kind of heading precariously over our house,” LeClair stated.
His fears proved well-founded when, the next day, he returned home to find the remaining portion of the tree had indeed fallen on his house.
LeClair firmly believes that part of the tree was situated on his neighbor’s property, while the other portion rested on an easement owned by the City of Jacksonville.
“The worst part of the story is that we’ve known about this tree for some time, and it looks rotten at the core. The branches extend way out further than they should,” LeClair lamented.
Despite the hardship, LeClair acknowledges that he and his family are fortunate to be safe. He reflected, “If all the tree would’ve fallen at the same time… we would be dead right now.”
Action News Jax reached out to the City of Jacksonville to determine responsibility for this tree, and we’ll provide updates as soon as we hear back.
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