Tree nearly crushed couple visiting Torquay hotel
Guests at a Grade II-listed holiday cottage had a lucky escape after a giant tree crashed into it seconds before they checked in.
The giant Eucalyptus tree, believed to have been weakened as a result of heavy rain, engulfed the building and crushed a car.
A couple who were due to stay in the property had arrived and driven past the cottage around 30 seconds before the tree crashed down.
Firefighters were called to the property, which is part of the Osborne Hotel holiday complex in Torquay, Devon, at around 3pm on Friday.
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A Vauxhall Astra estate belonging to a worker at a nearby hotel was also engulfed by the tree and its branches.
Osborne hotel manager, Carlos Rios, said: "Two guests who were due to stay at the hotel had driven into the car park just 30 seconds before the tree came down behind them.
They were exceptionally lucky to have missed the tree. The car which was crushed was a complete write-off so I dread to think what could have happened to the couple had they arrived moments later."
The two-bedroomed grade II listed building sustained damage to its tiled roof, as well as damage to council lighting and telephone lines surrounding the building.
Firefighter Mark Wileman, in charge at the scene, said: "There was nobody in the car or cottage when the tree fell. "