I warned of dangerous trees, says furious dad
Pregnant wife flees as home struck at 3am
firstname.lastname@example.org A 100ft tree crashed through the roof of a family home where a pregnant mother and her twoyear-old daughter lay sleeping – despite council promises to cut the poplar down.
Father Dean Metcalfe, 31, his 28-year-old wife Samantha, who is seven months pregnant, and their daughter Scarlett were forced to abandon their house in Nine Acres, Kennington, at 2.45am on Christmas Eve and spent Christmas Day with relatives.
Mr Metcalfe has now accused Ashford Borough Council of neglecting public safety for not chopping down the large row of trees at the bottom of his garden.
The 100ft poplar tree fell into his house, smashing the roof above his daughter’s bedroom.
He said: “My heavily pregnant wife woke up screaming.
“We had to evacuate the house due to the damage and risk of other trees falling onto the property.
‘The council turned their backs on us and left us in a very dangerous position’
The view from the garden and, inset, inside the house, after the 100ft poplar tree crashed down
“Leaving the house at 3am in these conditions with a petrified two-year-old and a pregnant wife was stressful in itself.
“My daughter kept talking about how the naughty wind had blown the tree onto our house.
“My wife is really struggling to sleep following the incident and in her condition this is not good.
“There is a large hole in the roof which we have had to ‘make good’ and waterproof and luckily we know a roofer, who did us a good turn and came out on Christmas Eve.
“This cost us £500 and we are still without approximately 100 tiles due to roofers’ yards being closed over the Christmas period.
“We realise there are a lot of people who had a worse experience than us because of flooding and our Christmas wasn’t ruined thanks to family and friends.”
Mr Metcalfe, who owns his home, said about six weeks ago an 80ft tree from the group fell towards their homes and was only prevented from hitting his neighbour’s house by a large fir tree in their garden.
He and neighbours have been asking for the row of seven trees, which stand in an allotment about 3ft from their garden fences, to be removed for some time.
They were finally told a few weeks ago the trees would be removed but not immediately.
He continued: “The council completely turned their backs on us and left us in a very dangerous position.
“I appreciate that a number of trees would have fallen in various areas of the borough which they would need to attend to but to leave it this long is terrible.
“This whole situation would have been avoided if the coun- cil had removed the trees when we asked the first time or when they agreed that the trees posed danger to us.”
As well as the damage to the roof the tree ripped guttering away from the house, damaged windows and doors, destroyed garden furniture and broke an outside tap, which led to the garden being flooded.
No one from Ashford council was available for comment as we went to press.