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Branches from banyan crash onto home’s roof

  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Firefighters cleared away branches from a banyan tree that fell yesterday onto a house roof at 41 Dowsett Ave. in Nuuanu.
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Large branches from a banyan tree believed to be diseased or infested with insects crashed onto a Nuuanu house yesterday morning but did not injure any of the three occupants.

Jennifer Sparacio said one branch penetrated the roof and ceiling of the bedroom where her 5-year-old daughter, Alina, sleeps. The tree is on their residential lot at 41 Dowsett Ave.

"We were all sitting on the sofa in the living room when I heard a loud noise," said Sparacio, who moved into the three-bedroom house in March. "It was an extremely loud noise, like nothing I can describe."

She said her daughter’s reaction was, "Mommy, the tree broke my bedroom roof."

"It could have been much more worse," Sparacio added. "Much, much worse."

Sparacio said she called the Fire Department after the branches hit the home at about 9:45 a.m.

"Eight minutes later they were here," she said.

A roofer, who had been summoned by the landlord, said the branches punched at least four holes, each measuring about 1 square foot, in the roof of the one-story house.

Capt. Terry Seelig, Fire Department spokesman, said one company of firefighters initially responded to the alarm and said the tree looked like it had rotted, either from insects or disease. He ruled out the wind as a cause.

Sparacio said it had not been windy in Nuuanu when the branches fell. She also noted that the home had been renovated several times, with the roof completely replaced 10 years ago.

Firefighters cut away many of the fallen branches, but one had crashed into a load-bearing beam and could not yet be removed to avoid undermining the structure of the building.

 

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