80-foot tree crushes Beverly family’s dreams of restoring historic house

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CHICAGO -- Fierce winds Saturday night sent trees toppling onto two homes in southwestern Chicagoland just moments apart.

Brian Cummings and his wife bought their historic late 19th-century house in Beverly a year and a half ago. He said they fell in love with the home and had plans to restore it back to its "glory days."

Then Sunday night an 80-foot tree took out part of the house.

“The whole house shook. It was just an unbelievable noise. The whole house shaking. The cats running around shaking, trying to find a place to go…just chaos,” Cummings said.

Luckily Brian, his wife, and their 5-month-old daughter Audrey were not harmed. As it turns out, the rotting tree that fell into their home belonged to his neighbor.

“I’ve never know the tree as a problem before. It still has leaves. It looked like a strong tree, but apparently not,” he said.

Within minutes and just four miles away in Oak Lawn, a tree fell into Wilbur Siggins' home as well.

After hearing a loud boom while watching television, Siggins said they went around back to see what happened, "and down came the tree.”

A large branch from a tree in his front lawn came crashing down onto his roof. And while the tree was removed overnight, there's still water leaking into his home from damage to his roof and gutters.

Back at the Cummings' house there's no power or gas, and the house is cold. So wife and baby have temporarily moved out.

"So they’re nice, safe, and warm," Brian said. "Dad will be sitting here trying to fix the house.”


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