Elderly man wakes to oak crashing through roof

Ken Suarez reports

- A 76 year-old man barely escaped with his life after a massive oak tree took down a power line and came crashing down on his frame home.

"It ruined everything," Dell Collier, a disabled veteran, told FOX 13.

It happened on Florida Avenue just north of Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd on Friday. Around sunrise, Collier was in bed asleep when he heard a noise and suddenly felt the ceiling on his chest.

He made it out and was sitting on the back porch when his brother, Ron arrived at the place to start work. Ron operates a lawn repair and tool sharpening business from Collier's house. Ron called Hillsborough Fire Rescue and, within minutes, emergency crews and loved ones began showing up.

Collier's ex-wife was very shaken up, but grateful.

"I said, 'you're so lucky, with the power lines that went down and everything, that it didn't catch on fire,'" said Ila Collier. "Lucky don't even describe what I feel. My heart is still going 100 miles an hour. I look at this house here, standing in front of it, and it makes me feel that I am drunker than a cootie, because it is slanted. The whole house is slanted."  

Despite being battered and bruised, Collier made one thing clear - he was not going to get checked out medically.

"Can I tell you something? You can take it to the bank," he said to a group of reporters. "I ain't going to no hospital." 

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