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Great-grandmother lucky to be alive after 100ft tree crushes her home

A great-grandmother from Birmingham is lucky to be alive after a 100-foot tall tree came crashing through her bathroom – missing her by seconds.

It is the second time in four years that Ruth Stokes has had a narrow escape from falling trees.

Ruth, 79, had just stepped out of the bathroom yesterday when her neighbour’s poplar tree broke off in high winds and smashed through the side of her bungalow on Balaclava Road in Kings Heath.

Now, the grandmother-of-five may not be able to return to her wrecked home of 25 years for months – but says she is just grateful to have escaped unscathed.

Credit: BPM Media

“I feel lucky to be alive,” said Ruth. “I would’ve been dead if I had stayed in the bathroom because tiles would have fallen on my head."

Ruth had finished dressing in the bathroom at 9.30am yesterday and had gone to look at the belt she had selected in the hallway mirror when she heard a tremendous noise.

I heard a loud bang, there was a cracking noise, then slates slipping, then the chimney came down. I thought I had been bombed. I saw rubbish in my hallway, the bathroom all smashed up and the conservatory all broken. The neighbours came rushing out because the noise was so dreadful. I called 999.”

– Ruth Stokes
Credit: BPM Media

The poplar is estimated to be between 90 feet to 100 feet tall, had broken off due to the high winds.

Ruth, who is awaiting a structural engineer to come out and assess the damage, thanked her neighbours for their kindness.

It is the second time that she has been affected by falling trees. In 2011, part of a willow tree came down due to high winds.