Falling tree cuts house in half

2013-01-09 10:23
Josh and Clair Dinnis stand on the tree which cut their house in half. (Jonathan Burton, The Witness)

Josh and Clair Dinnis stand on the tree which cut their house in half. (Jonathan Burton, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - A KwaZulu-Natal couple say they are lucky to be alive after a big tree sliced their house in half during a storm on Sunday.

Josh and Clair Dinnis were preparing dinner when the tree fell on to their house in Merrivale, sending them and their pets scrambling for safety.

“While Clair was preparing dinner, a branch fell on the roof. I went outside to move the cars and as I was outside I could see this huge tree moving,” Dinnis said.

He returned inside and quickly grabbed Clair and their dogs before moving to the other side of the house.

About 90 seconds later the tree fell, smashing through the roof and two brick walls and effectively cutting the house in two.


Dinnis said his wife was shaken up and they were both running around doing a head count of all the animals, including their horses.

Among their house pets, the dogs and cats were fine, but a fish they had bought last month did not make it.

“It died of shock,” Dinnis said.

He said a washing machine, a freezer and fridges were damaged beyond repair.

The bedrooms and kitchen are habitable, but the lounge and entertainment area were destroyed. While their lives were turned upside-down in seconds, Dinnis and his wife were able to laugh about what had happened.

“The animals are shocked over the environmental changes.

“There are many trees on the ground so we officially have a tree house,” he laughed.

Dinnis said he wasn’t sure whether the house was insured, as they are renting it.

The tree would be removed this week.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  weather

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