By Anna Meiler

MALDEN (CBS) – Cleanup crews had a big project waiting for them in Malden Monday morning, hours after a severe thunderstorm left a trail of damage. Sunday’s quick-moving system sent a massive tree crashing down right on top of a home on Columbia Street.

“It just– boom. and I just said run, run, grab Ben, run to the front of the house,” homeowner Carol Oullette recalled. “I’m lost right now, I’m homeless, we will not be able to go back to that home.”

Her son Joshua Oullette is also upset, but trying to stay optimistic. “It’s sad to be honest with you, because its 17 years worth of memories, down the drain,” he said. “I view this as something that could potentially out to be a wonderful thing for me and my family and it could open the door to a new chapter.”

Joe Oppedisano lives next door and watched the whole thing from his window in disbelief.

“I was awestruck, it was pretty, pretty crazy,” Oppedisano told WBZ-TV Monday. “That tree went right through from the top floor all the way to the kitchen on the first floor.”

Oppedisano and his wife are good friends with the family of four who live next door. They called over right away to make sure they were okay.

“The gentleman that lives there was in his bed where the tree went through 15 minutes prior, so they’re all lucky to be alive. Great family. They’ve been here 17 years. It was just so sad, so sad to see,” said Oppedisano.

Carol said her family is staying at a hotel right now, but it is especially difficult because she has another child with special needs.

Crews started taking the tree apart piece-by-piece Monday morning to get it out of the home.

There was also significant damage nearby on Baker Street where a utility pole snapped at the base.

Anna Meiler

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