HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A eucalyptus tree estimated to be 100-feet tall toppled onto a Wahiawa home, sending the family inside running for safety. Three adults and two children live in the house on Cypress Avenue.
Sepa Sene and her family moved into the home, which is owned by a friend, about a year ago. She was with her sister and 10-month-old nephew when the huge tree came crashing down just before 8:45 a.m. on Wednesday.
"Big noise like something, boom, like a bomb," described Sene.
A branch pierced the roof and ended up in one of the bedrooms.
"I was worried about my nephew cause he was sleeping in the room so when the tree fell on the house, when I heard that sound, big sound on the house, then I told my sister to grab the boy and get out," said Sene.
"We don't know why the tree fell. It doesn't appear that there was a particularly strong wind situation or rain situation that might have caused it or led to it," said Capt. Terry Seelig of the Honolulu Fire Department.
The tree also knocked over a smaller eucalyptus which damaged two storage sheds and a tile fence on retired firefighter Steve Humphrey's property.
"We had complained about this same tree long time, 15, 20 years ago. A big branch had fallen out of it and there was a big hole about a third of the way up, and I always thought it was going to break off there and fall," said Humphrey.
Residents said the trees came from a grove growing on land owned by Dole Food. The company did not return our calls for comment.
"The arborist guy was here earlier for Dole," said Humphrey. "Dole said they're going to come and clean it all up and they're going to cut back some of these other trees that are leaning around the properties."
Seelig said the roof suffered substantial damage and repairs are needed before the family can live there again. The American Red Cross is helping them with temporary shelter. Residents are just relieved that everyone escaped unharmed.
"They didn't get hurt, they got out all right. Yeah, that was whew. Wow, lucky the tree kind of fell right in between, so it was the branches that hit their house," said Humphrey.