ECHO PARK (CBSLA) – Firefighters rescued a homeless man who got trapped after a hillside tree came crashing down onto a home in Echo Park Monday morning amid stormy conditions.

Dec. 23, 2019. (CBS2)

Sometime before 8 a.m. the tree came careening down onto the two-story home in the 1400 block of Sunset Boulevard, downing power lines in the process.

Homeowner Vince Meghrouni told CBS2 he was awoken by the crash of the tree to find it lodged in his living room.

“Finally we realized, ‘oh yeah, there’s a tree,’ the tree, because we loved that tree,” Meghrouni said. “I guess it loved us so much it wanted to be with us.”

A homeless man who was staying under the tree when it came down became trapped, the Los Angeles Fire Department reports. Richard Moet, who had been working nearby, told CBS2 he ran to see if the man was OK.

“I ended up going over the rail, and just climbing on that hill…to see if he was alright,” Moet said. “I did, and he was fine, he said he was trapped.”

Crews had to use a crane with a 50-ton lift capacity coupled with a chainsaw to heave the tree up and create a rescue path for the trapped man, the fire department said.

It took about 30 minutes to pull him to safety. He suffered only minor injuries and did not require transport to a hospital.

“He was OK, thank goodness, I’m really happy about that,” Meghrouni said.

No one in the home was hurt. The L.A. Department of Building and Safety redtagged the home after inspecting the damage. Meghrouni said he’s unsure when he and his family will be allowed back inside.

LADWP crews were on scene throughout the day working to repair the downed lines. Most of the street was still without electricity as of Monday evening. Crews were unsure if the tree came down because of the wind and saturated hillside, or because it was unhealthy.

The tree came down amid a cold storm system which brought heavy rain showers across the Southland overnight Sunday and well into Monday. Flooding, outages and other downed trees were reported across the region.


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