Family escapes house moments before tree collapses

Author: Kumasi Aaron, Reporter, weekend anchor, kaaron@wjxt.com
Matt Kinzig, Photojournalist, weekend assignment editor, mkinzig@wjxt.com
Published On: Jan 12 2014 02:29:23 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 12 2014 07:48:32 PM EST
GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. -

A Clay County family is grateful they decided to evacuate their house during Saturday's storm, when they say moments later a tree collapsed on it.

Dozens of people all across our area began cleaning up the damage left behind after the round of severe storms Saturday.

Jenny Tague, a resident in Green Cove Springs was there when she said she heard the tree fall on her neighbors house. 

"I was actually about to go take a nap and you just hear this big crashing sound," said Tague. 

Omar and Glenda Gonzales and their five children, had just left home.

A day later, the tree's remains serves as a reminder of how much worse things could have been.

"I'm grateful that they weren't in the house because surely the area that was impacted in the house her little kids toys are there they would be playing," Tague said.

The Gonzalez family spent Saturday night in the hotel, and came back to their home Sunday to survey the damage, and get clothes for school and work.

The impact of the tree left cracks all around the house, and holes in their living room and bedroom ceiling. 

The Gonzalez family says they knew the tree had issues. They said they met with someone just a few days ago to talk about cutting this tree down and that was scheduled for next weekend.

The family says a tree limb fell just a a month ago, now after seeing this tree fall, their neighbor says she's taking a whole new look at the trees in her yard.

Not everyone agrees.

"It really doesn't bother me if it's gonna fall down it's gonna fall down I mean as long as you check the base of it you're fine just make sure nothings eating it up," said one neighbor.

The Gonzalez family did not have home insurance, so they are working with the Red Cross to figure out what's next. 

"It makes you realize how short in the blink of an eye your life could be impacted," Tague said. "In this case you can look back and laugh at it but it could have been a different outcome."