Residents describe shock as tree falls onto Hanham block of flats

Residents have been left in shock after a tree fell onto a block of flats in Hanham during storm Dennis.

The incident, off the High Street, was one of many caused by Storm Dennis this weekend.

The flats’ residents were evacuated from Grange Court, with the tree crashing into a girl’s bedroom who was laying on her bed playing on her phone at the time when the branch came through the window.

A girl was lying on the bed, just under the window, as the branch crashed through (Image: Hicks Gate Fire Station)

A few casualties were treated for minor injuries.

Reverend Peter Cook, of nearby Hanham Baptist Church, said a service had just finished when one of the women who had attended it came back as she couldn’t go inside her house because of the fallen tree.

He said they opened the church and offered the affected families hot drinks and biscuits, adding three families went to the church.

Reverend Cook continued: “They were very together – I wouldn’t have been that together.

“The emergency services did a great job at keeping them calm.

“The problem was it was still raining and freezing cold outside so it was good for them to have a warm building to go to.”

The reverend said the families stayed in the church for a couple of hours while a structural survey of the building was carried out, adding he understood the evacuated families then went to stay with relatives.

Speaking about the girl whose bedroom window was broken by the tree, he said she was fine, “amazingly calm”.

Resident David Miller was at home when the tree fell down (Image: Bristol Live)

Nearby resident David Miller said there was a hailstorm last night and they could hear the stones against their windows.

Then, all of a sudden, they heard one loud “boom” sound, he continued.

Mr Miller added: “We didn’t hear a crashing sound, we thought it was thunder.

“An hour later or so, we noticed all the flashing lights outside.”

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The resident said he knew some residents had been allowed back inside their homes, but they couldn’t get their cars in and out.

“It is horrendous and scary,” he added. “My wife and I loved that tree, we can see it from our window.

“It has been there for a long time and we are going to miss it.

“But most importantly we hope no one has been injured.”

Another resident said she heard the thunderstorm last night but that is all she thought it was.

“I didn’t think anything had happened until I noticed all the flashing lights from the living room,” she said. “Police came to ask us if we know who owns the land.

“I know they evacuated the families last night.”

Remnants of the tree cover the exterior of the flats and roof (Image: Dave Betts/Bristol Live)

The resident said years ago there used to be two trees on the site, with the other one coming down during a storm years ago.

Another resident said he didn’t hear anything as he was watching the football at the time.

However, his son looked outside the window just after 7pm and saw the tree had fallen.

He added: “It is only this morning I have been able to see the full extent of the damage – I think they will probably need a new car.”

Back to: Home Bristol NewsSource: Bristol Post

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