01/05/2012 11:23 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Mum And Baby Cheat Death After 70 Foot Tree Crashes On Roof During Early Morning Feed

Mum and baby cheat death after 70 foot tree crashes onto roof during early morning feed SWNS

Mum of three Toni Hoare is lucky to be alive after a 70 foot tree crashed onto the roof of her house while she was feeding her daughter in the early hours.

Toni was sat up in bed feeding five-month-old Winnie when she heard a noise 'like a car crashing' above her head at around 5.30am on Sunday morning.

Several tonnes of beech tree, thought to be around 300 years old, fell against Toni and husband Steven's home in Plymouth, Devon, putting five two-foot-wide holes in the roof above the couple's bedroom.

The timber which had split close to its base then crushed a cherry blossom tree below and settled on open space next to the property, blocking the road.

Toni, 32, a practice nurse who is also mum to Lola, four, and Isabelle, three, said: "There was so much noise - it was a really loud cracking sound that went on for several seconds, like a car crashing and lots of crunching.

"I thought the whole house was falling down. I thought it could be something in the garden like the trampoline blowing around. I looked out of the window and there were branches everywhere. I was shaking for about an hour with the shock and the enormity of it all. We're lucky to be alive."

Toni immediately called Steven who had taken Lola and Isabelle to nearby Harlyn Bay to check their holiday caravan was coping in the bad weather.

Mum and baby cheat death after 70 foot tree crashes onto roof during early morning feed SWNS

Steven, who works for a pharmaceuticals company, said: "I immediately thought something bad had happened with the shock in her voice. If it was a few more degrees it would have come down right on the house.

"Toni and Winnie could have been crushed. It makes you realise all the damage is immaterial compared to what could have happened. It's a real relief we were all OK."

The family can now see sky through the roof in their family home and are waiting for insurance assessors to see if the timber-frame house has suffered structural damage. Around five holes measuring between one and two feet have been left in the roof, which is littered with tree debris.

The roof felt has been damaged, fascia board has fallen off and the tree has also ripped down the family's guttering, downpipes, and a security light.

A new eight foot fence, recently concreted into the ground, was also crushed along with a gate, and hip tiles have come off the roof.

"All the neighbours have been fantastic helping with the tree and checking we're OK," says Toni. "I'm glad it didn't happen during the daytime as someone could have been crushed driving their car on the road."

Can you imagine anything more scary while sat in bed feeding your baby?
We wish the family all the best with the clean up.