PASADENA ( — It has become a familiar sight up and down rain-soaked California: trees toppling on houses. One fallen pine tree severely crushed a 13-year-old girl in Irvine Friday.

On Tuesday, a 60-foot pine tree crashed onto a garage on Zanja Street around 10:30 a.m., ripping out a sidewalk and crushing an SUV in Pasadena.

The city’s building inspector said the decades-old tree rested only inches away from the water heater underneath the twisted branches.

“We’re red-tagging it. We did turn off the gas because the garage is next to the water heaters. So that’s a concern of ours. We’re assessing the electrical to see if we’ll shut that off for the night,” said Lisa Derderian, spokeswoman for the Pasadena Fire Department.

Lupe and Jose Montoya live next door, which is in the path of another tree wrapped in power lines and a transformer.

That tree was leaning towards their home after the other one loosened it during the fall.

The fire department and the building inspector told them they should make plans to stay somewhere else Tuesday night.

“It’s the oversaturation with all the rain recently, these trees get filled with the moisture. And the branches get full. They literally get top-heavy and fall over,” Derderian added.

She said the fire department responded to 20 downed tree in the last two weeks.

A tree surgeon is expected to show up Wednesday to assess the situation and come up with a plan of action for the leaning tree to make sure it doesn’t fall on the second house.


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