‘God was watching out for us’: Huge tree falls on family’s home in Summit County

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NEW FRANKLIN, Ohio -- Powerful winds are being blamed for a toppled tree that crashed down on top of a home in Summit County Thursday night.

A family had just gone to bed when they were awakened by the sound of the a tree falling on top of their home on South Main Street in New Franklin.

"And it was like ‘boom,'  just that big crack of thunder was what I thought it was 'til my son came up and said, 'Is everybody okay?’ I said, 'What are you talking about?’ He said, 'Dad, a tree fell on the house," Bob Pillitiere  told FOX 8 News.

The 80-foot tall tree crashed through the back end of the home. The impact cracked a large wood beam in half -- that beam runs the length of the house.

“I’m assuming they’re going to have to take this whole roof off," Pillitiere  said.

The 71-year-old said he normally would have been sitting in a chair that was buried in heavy chunks of sheet rock and plaster when the ceiling collapsed, but he decided to go to bed early Thursday night. "The ceiling is like 12 feet high so I might have been dead for all I know.”

The tree stood for more than 100 years, and Bob thinks it finally fell due to the fact that the soil is saturated from the big thaw, combined with the high winds Thursday night.


The family is now facing the prospect of rebuilding a large section of their home, but Pillitiere said they feel fortunate.

“God was watching out for us. Nobody got hurt. I’m just thankful for that; everybody is okay.”

Pillitiere said the damage done by the falling tree is an estimated $150,000. It could take up to five months, he said, to replace the roof and make repairs to the structure.

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