140-year-old tree crashes onto Bridgeport apartment building, displaces families

Three Bridgeport families are displaced after a massive oak tree crashed into their apartment building this weekend.
A 140-year-old great white oak tree fell on top of building 10 at Success Village Saturday afternoon.
Maria Rivera, 52, is the owner of one of the three units. She said her apartment has suffered extensive damage.
Rivera says her life at Success Village has been extremely happy for almost a decade. The community is known for the many Great White Oaks that fill the property and help give it its character.
But when the Great White Oak came crashing down on Building 10, the life Maria built in Building 10 also came crashing down.
Her kitchen was damaged, along with the living room and the bathroom, which she just spent $8,000 to remodel.
She wasn't home at the time, but said, for the first time ever, she understands what it's like to be one of the people on the news who lose everything in a natural disaster.
The apartment above Rivera's was unoccupied, but the Great White Oak ripped a wide hole in the roof.
That's what led to the water damage during the few minutes that heavy rain poured on the complex.
"Everything is under here. I don't know how bad my clothes are. My daughter said my clothes are wet," Rivera said.
"We have three members, including Miss Rivera here, who were displaced," said Ty Bird, who is the new Success Village President. Bird said thanks to the Association's insurance coverage, all three families are staying at a high-end hotel until their condos can be repaired.
"I've been through a lot for the past two years, losing my job, lost both of my parents, so it's a lot what I'm going through right now," Rivera said.
She said she suspects the tree came crashing down not just due to an act of God, but because she said when the sidewalks were recently fixed and part of the tree's roots were cut away, which possibly made it more prone to fall.
"I thank God that nobody was home. I think I would have been a wreck if I was in my house when this happened," Rivera said.
Both Rivera and Bird said it was an extraordinary turn of events and nobody was hurt. Bird added the displaced families will get the help they need because it takes a village to support a community.
Rivera and the association said they'll press for answers to find out if work done during that recent sidewalk construction weakened the tree and caused it to fall.