Neighbor’s botched tree removal destroys house

BELLEVUE, Wash. — A man trying to get a tree cut down for free wound up destroying his neighbor’s house.

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The neighbor who owned the tree told KIRO the tree needed to be removed because it frequently shed branches on his roof. But rather than pay a company to remove the tree, he posted online asking if someone would cut it down in exchange for the wood.

The home’s owner, Sarah Jacobsen, was out running an errand when the tree crashed onto her house. “Half the house is completely destroyed,” Jacobsen told KIRO. “We sadly just finished a kitchen remodel and kind of remodeled in here.”

Investigators haven’t said if the house was structurally sound enough to be saved, or whether the rest of the home would need to be demolished.

The neighbor responsible told KIRO that about 30 minutes into the tree removal, the person cutting it down said that the situation was “out of control,” and suggested calling in a professional crew. It was too late, and the tree came crashing down onto the house moments later.

“It was really loud. And then just progressively as the tree settled, more and more was coming in. Then the rain and hail was coming through. It was really crazy,” Jacobsen told KIRO.

Turning Leaf Tree Service told KIRO that taking down the 140-foot tree should have been a five-to-six-person job costing $3,000-$4,000.

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