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High Winds Topple Lowell Tree, Sparks Fire

April 4, 2019 GMT

LOWELL -- Residents of Harland Avenue said the tree was among the tallest on the street, if not the tallest.

On Wednesday night, high winds made the massive tree come crashing down alongside 15 Harland Ave., sparking a brief fire and power outage in the process.

“It literally sounded like there was a tree falling on the house,” said Carlton Woodring, who lives at 15 Harland Ave. “It sounded like an explosion or something crashed into the house, but it virtually didn’t hit the house.”

The tree took out the corner of the structure’s back deck and ripped along the side of the house, but that was the extent of the damage, Woodring said.

According to Lowell Fire Chief Jeffrey Winward, the tree also ripped wires off the house and damaged a garage on a neighboring property.

“The wires and tree were on fire,” Winward said.

The fire was extinguished without damage to the home.

Over the last month, Woodring said he had concern about how freely the tree swayed in the wind. The tree is on city property, Woodring said. He called the city about trimming the tree, but it was an issue that had not been addressed yet, he said.

“It was one of those things I was going to call them again to remind them,” Woodring said. “I guess I waited too long.”

According to a police-radio broadcast, the tree had been looked at by the city recently.

Andover Street, between Harland Avenue and Remington Street, was closed to traffic while the scene was addressed by emergency crews.

During Wednesday night’s heavy winds, Winward pointed out a tree fell across the road and there was a power outage on Totman Street. Also, a tree fell on a house on Carlisle Street, though no power outage was experienced there.

Follow Aaron Curtis on Twitter @aselahcurtis