News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


PRESS RELEASE 04/02/2014
Subject :

Tree Falls on Community Garden Shed Injuring Transient Man Sleeping Inside
Contact : Catherine Capriles, Deputy Chief    650-329-2265
Palo Alto, CA — On Tuesday, April 1 at 11:32 p.m., Palo Alto Fire units were dispatched to 1213 Newell Road where a tree had fallen onto the Community Garden shed and trapped an individual who had been sleeping inside.

Palo Alto Fire Department sent a rescue response that included Engines 63, 61, Truck 66, Medic 61, and Battalion 66.  

On arrival, the Palo Alto Fire Department found a community garden shed that had been destroyed by a fallen 2- to 3-foot round oak tree. The tree landed on a transient male, who was sleeping inside the shed to protect himself from the cold, rainy weather. His left leg was crushed. Neighbors heard his calls for help and dialed 911.

Fire Department personnel used air bags, cribbing and a safety support device, called a Rescue 42, to lift and stabilize the tree. The water saturated ground and weight of the tree pushed the air bags to their limit, but crews were able to extricate the patient in approximately 40 minutes. He was transported to Stanford University Hospital at approximately 12:27 a.m. with a crushed lower left leg. 

Safety Tip: Be cognizant of large trees in the area; have them checked by an arborist to ensure stability and health.

For more information, visit or call 650-329-2265.