San Diego

Massive Tree Falls on La Mesa Home

The tree, nearly 60 feet tall, toppled on a house on Riviera Drive during a powerful winter storm

A massive tree measuring nearly 60 feet tall fell on top of a home in La Mesa overnight, heavily damaging the property as residents were fast asleep.

The tree toppled just after midnight in the 3800 block of Riviera Drive, destroying the home’s garage and part of the living room. Residents were sleeping in a bedroom on the far end of the house and, fortunately, were not hurt.

Steve Ehrsa, a neighbor who lives in an RV on the property, said the tree had been leaning for a while but, since it was an old, strong tree, no one thought it would fall.

However, after Monday’s consistent downpour, the tree gave out.

Ehrsa said it didn’t make much noise when it fell, which was a bit surprising.

“I thought it was the tool – the tent, the plastic tent. I thought it had filled up with water and then just collapsed,” he explained. “Because it didn’t sound loud enough to be that tree, but it was."

Building inspectors with the City of La Mesa were at the scene Tuesday morning. Ultimately, they deemed the home uninhabitable, roping off the property and putting a sign on it.

Now, fire department officials, city engineers and San Diego Gas & Electric officials will have to inspect the home to assess if and when the residents will be able to get back in.

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