• Westside family homeless after tree hits home


    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A mother and her children are without a place to live after Wednesday night’s severe storm knocked a tree right onto their home while they were inside.  Fortunately they were not hurt.

    "It started raining and thundering. We heard a loud boom we thought it was lightning,” said Vatroni Reed.

    "I was watching television and the storm hit and I heard a big bang,” said Laurence Cook.

    That big bang was Laurence Cook’s enormous maple tree being knocked over by Wednesday night’s severe storm.

    Cook’s tree fell right on his next door neighbor, Vatroni Reed’s house with her and her kids inside.

    "Three hours later, The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office knocked on my door.  It never came through the roof it fell through the attic,” said Reed.

    The tree damaged the structure of the home but it did not split the house in half.  Reed and her kids got out safely.

    Now Cook is trying to get his tree removed and his neighbor’s house repaired as fast as possible so they can return home.

    "I got a phone call into my insurance company and I got a phone call into a tree surgeon,” said Cook.

    The Red Cross has provided housing for the family.

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