Dead tree knocks out power to NE Houston home

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A dead tree is causing a major problem for a couple in north east Houston. (KTRK)

A dead tree is causing a major problem for a couple in north east Houston.

Not just one dead tree, three dead trees have fallen from the yard next door, the latest happened June 16, it smashed onto the roof, and took down the power line leaving the home owners without electricity and no way to fix the problem on Fitch Street near Lockwood Drive.

"We heard a big boom, sounded like bomb going off," said homeowner Larry Gutierrez.

It was a night Larry Gutierrez will never forget.

"The neighbors come out and saw this and uh oh, here we go. Imagine if I was in the back yard and the tree fell on me, I would not be here right now," said Gutierrez.

The tree came from the yard next door it is the third to fall onto Gutierrez's property this year. From the looks of it a half dozen more may follow.

But it was this one that cut the power to Gutierrez's home and left him with just a generator to power a window air conditioning unit.

"We got to get an electrician to come out here and fix this," he said.

Gutierrez was told fixing the line will cost at least $2,000, money he does not have. When Gutierrez called his neighbor's insurance company he was told it was an act of God. Without insurance on his own Gutierrez has no way to fix his roof or restore the power.

"I'm by myself, stuck in the dark," said Gutierrez.

While it's typically true damage done by a falling tree is no one's fault, because the tree that hit Gutierrez's home has been dead for quite some time that could change things according to Houston attorney Richard Melamed.

"If you neglect your property and you allow your trees to fall on your neighbor, that is negligence and makes you liable," said Melamed.

So it seems as if the home owner may have to go to court to get the problem fixed, in the meantime he's worried another dead tree will fall and do even more damage his home.
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