Lightning strike blows large redwood tree to pieces

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A San Mateo homeowner had a close call Monday morning after lightning struck a large tree in her backyard, blasting it to smithereens.

Massive chunks of a 100-year-old tree -- believed to be a redwood -- were scattered everywhere. Debris even landing on the roof. Homeowner Simone Nguyen said it's all because of the lightning strike.

"I saw the tree just explode in front of me and gave me a minute to escape. That's a miracle," said Nguyen.

Nguyen said just before just before 8 a.m., her dog Coco woke her up early to go to the bathroom outside. When she was in the backyard, in the corner of her eye, she saw lightning and then heard an explosion.

"It hit my tree and a million pieces of my tree just blew up in the sky," said Nguyen.

She escaped inside and saw a big piece of the tree went through her bedroom window landing right on her bed, sending shattered glass everywhere. It's estimated the tree stood more than 100 feet tall. The impact was so strong the wood pierced the lawn.

"It's something certainly I've never seen before," said Nguyen's friend Phil Kawakami.

The debris wasn't confined to her own backyard. Pieces of the tree can be found throughout the neighborhood including across the street.

Nguyen's neighbors the Baxters showed KTVU where part of the tree came through the fence. One of the logs went crashing through their kitchen window, breaking a few lights and narrowly missing Scott Baxter's wife.

"She just picked up a up of coffee inside this window here turned and headed to the back of the house when lightning hit and piece of tree came through the window," said Scott Baxter.

"It was unbelievable i never heard a sound like that before," said Karen Baxter.

They consider themselves lucky and so does Nguyen. She credits her dog for saving her life.

"This is a shock for me," said Nguyen. "I'm very sad. At the same time, I also feel very lucky that I'm alive."