OAKLAND -- Jack Fearey was sound asleep Monday morning in his rented house on Snake Road in the Oakland hills when he heard a crash.
"I thought I was dreaming, rolled over and went back to sleep," he said later.
What he did not know, until police knocked on his door about 8:40 a.m., was that a more than 40-foot pine tree had fallen over from the yard next door, landing on his roof and causing thousands of dollars of damage.
Unscathed by the fallen tree, Fearey said "I didn't realize what it was until the cops show up at my door and said 'A tree has fallen through your roof.'"
He said firefighters showed up as well to make sure no one was hurt and all was clear.
High winds in the area, coupled with erosion from recent storms, may have played a role in the tree falling, officials said.
The pine tree fell from the yard of one house in the 7000 block of Snake Road onto Fearey's home. The houses are about a mile south of Skyline Boulevard.
As the tree fell, it caught the branches of another tree, bringing them down with it onto the roof of the damaged home.
The fallen tree was discovered by Frank Chavez, a tree specialist who had come to the neighboring house to evaluate another tree for possible removal. Chavez said the tree tumbled after the owners of the house whose property it is on had gone to work.
Hours after the tree fell, winds were still blowing briskly in the area. Fearey said he took notice of the high winds Sunday night while driving back from San Francisco but had no idea what was to befall him.
Fearey said his parents live in Connecticut and just came through Hurricane Sandy, so a tree through his roof, he said, "seems minor compared to what they are facing."
Authorities said some power lines were also brought down by the falling tree, but only one home in the area apparently lost power.
Correspondent Nanci L. Valcke contributed to this report.