SLIDESHOW: Tree Destroys Mobile Home In Spokane County - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

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SLIDESHOW: Tree Destroys Mobile Home In Spokane County

ELK, Wash. - An Elk family, including a young girl, narrowly escaped serious injury after a massive part of a tree fell into their mobile home at 3111 East Oregon Road Monday.

Spokane County Fire District 4 Battalion Captain Vince Speziale said a grandmother, her 18-year-old son, and her young granddaughter were sitting in the living room early Thursday morning when a huge part of a tree sliced right through the living room, trapping the grandmother and granddaughter. The 18 year-old son was struck by the tree and injured but he made it out of the home.

At first, firefighters were unsure if they could rescue the grandmother and granddaughter so they requested a Medstar chopper to be on standby but eventually the two were able to get out.

Both the young girl and the 18-year-old were sent to the hospital. Crews said their injuries are non-life threatening. The family also had several pets that ran outside of the home after the tree collapsed but they've since all been accounted for.

Speziale said the mobile home is a complete loss. The family was too distraught to speak on camera.

"It's a pretty hefty tree that came down, Speziale said. "It's not just a branch, it's an actual split that went all the way through the roof and down to the floorboards, even broke through the floor...They're very lucky."

Crews believe the part of the tree that fell was previously hit by lightening, which could have weakened the tree. Combined with heavy winds this week, crews believe, those previous damages caused the tree to snap.

"With the wind like this, any week point of the tree it's just going to break loose eventually," Speziale said.

Speziale said the Red Cross contacted family to ensure they have a place to stay. Friends are also helping.

RESOURCES:

So how can you protect your home from falling trees in your own backyard? One of the best preventative measures is pruning. Arborists said its good to cut back any branches that are broken, storm-damaged, crowded or dead. certainly, if branches are too high up in the tree - call professionals to help you cut down especially if they require heavy saws.

Also remember to check your insurance coverage. Many insurers now require a separate, higher deductible for damage caused by certain weather emergencies.

Our "How to Prune Trees:

Consumer Reports <http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/home-garden/resource-center/lawn-yard-guide/how-to-prune-trees/overview/index.htm?INTKEY=I95BOE0>

International Society of Arboriculture <http://www.isa-arbor.com>

the American Society of Consulting Arborists <http://www.asca-consultants.org>

National Arborist Association <http://www.natlarb.com>

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