Monday October 29, 2012
PITTSFIELD -- A sleeping toddler was saved moments before a large section of an ash tree on Westwood Road crashed into her bedroom early Monday night. An alert neighbor happened to see the tree cracking and called the child's mother who rushed to the bedroom and took her out.
Sue Clark said she happened to step outside her home when she saw the tree swaying back and forth in the high wind and about to fall into the Espositos' house.
Clark hastened back inside and called Kim and Damian Espositos' home to warn them that the tree was splitting in two.
Kim Esposito got the call and rushed into her daughter Samantha's room, which is on the second floor.
"She was still asleep, so I picked her up and we ran to get as far from where we thought the tree was going to hit as possible," Kim Esposito said.
A short time later, the 15-foot section of the tree crashed into the bedroom. Kim Esposito said the whole house shook. It sounded like "a small explosion," she said.
Samantha, who's nearly 2, was OK.
"I don't even want to think what would have happened if she was still in her crib," Kim said.
Clark, who had watched the drama unfold before her, said everything seemed to happen in slow motion.
"Slowly, it just went ‘crack,' ‘crack,' ‘crack,' and then it hit," Clark said. "It didn't make a big sound out here, but it must have been something awful inside."
Firefighters said wind gusts associated with Hurricane Sandy were reaching about 50 mph when the incident call came in around 5:30 p.m.
Westwood Road was closed for more than an hour while firefighters worked to removed the large tree from the Esposito home.
Kim Esposito said she was trying to reach an insurance agent on Monday night. Two months ago, the family had gone on vacation. While they were away, a pipe burst and flooded their home. The renovations had just been completed about 10 days ago, Kim Esposito said.
"Of course, this is going to happen to my house," she said. "Luckily, I have great neighbors."