Chrissy Cavileer initially fought to save the trees that were being taken down in her community. In an ironic twist however, one of those trees ended up crashing down onto her Cincinnati Avenue home in Egg Harbor City.
“It actually went right through the wood,” said Cavileer.
On Monday, a giant sycamore being taken down by a local tree service fell onto her home.
“They started to pull it and I watched it go right into my house,” she said. “I came running to the front yard and I’m like, ‘Are you kidding me?!’”
Egg Harbor City Council hired a local engineering firm and tree service to remove nearly 30 trees to repave a bumpy road and install new curbs and sidewalks. Cavileer and her neighbors had fought the decision.
“I understand that some of the trees had to come down,” she said. “But I don’t believe all of them had to come down.”
Cavileer says the tree that fell on her house wasn’t buckling the sidewalk and had hoped it would be spared by the city. After Monday’s accident, Cavileer says the foundation of her house is cracked, the windows shattered and the entire porch shifted. She also says it took workers two hours to remove it from her home.
“It was an accident,” said Paul Schairer, the owner of the tree removal service. “It wasn’t like it went backwards from the weight of those branches. It rolled and twisted and went sideways toward the house.”
“I understand homeowners didn’t want branches to fall on their property,” said Councilwoman Hazel Mueller. “So they tried to remove it in a different way.”
Schairer was asked if he and his co-workers would do anything differently to prevent another tree from coming down on top of a home.
“We did the same job we would’ve normally done,” he replied.
While an engineering firm remained on location on Tuesday, some neighbors fear that what happened to Cavileer could happen to them.
“The tree in front of our house is also one of the bigger trees,” said Jamie Manger. “I plan on not being in the house that day.”
NBC10 tried to contact the engineering firm responsible for the tree removal but they did not return our call. Cavileer says she is still waiting for a dollar figure on the damage to her home. City officials say the tree service’s insurance company will cover the cost of repair.