June 27, 2006
In Charlottesville on Tuesday, a large tree fell onto a home along Rugby Road and now there is a threat of a collapse. It fell from the back of the home onto the house. The tree split in half and rocked the foundation, causing fire officials to fear that the house was going to collapse.
Fire officials say the heavy rain caused a large tree to tumble down on a home. It came crashing through the roof of a house on Rugby Avenue a little after 6 p.m.
“When fire fighters first [got to the residence] they had to remove the occupant from the house,” said Charlottesville Fire Marshal Steve Winston.
At first fire marshals feared the house would collapse and take down power lines with it.
“Our concern was, if the house should move forward any more, it would pull those lines down and in addition, perhaps pull a transformer down and if anybody was walking through or cars coming through [the area] there could be a potential for damage or injuries,” said Winston
They blocked off the street in both directions for over an hour until a housing inspector could assess the damage. The pressure from the fallen tree caused the front wall of the home to move forward, it cracked the foundation and caused interior damage but tonight fire marshals believe the home although not sound -- will not fall.
“As far as we can tell now, it's not settling any more than it has already settled [and] we feel confident it's not going to move anymore,” said Winston.
Fire marshals have sealed off the residence. They aren’t taking any chances. In case the house does have additional movement they don't want anyone going in or out including the man who lives here.
Fire marshals say they will contact the owner of the home who will be responsible for getting the house stabilized.