'Leave It to Layron' helps man whose home was damaged by neighbor's tree

Oscar Adderly, 90, forced to live with daughter until neighbor removed his tree

MIAMI – Two bedrooms, one bathroom: It's not a palace, but for nearly 50 years, the small, wood-framed house near the corner of 18th Avenue and 49th Street in Miami has been Oscar Adderly's home.  

"Oh, boy," Adderly, 90, said with a heavy sigh, surveying what little is left of the interior of his home.

The house is where he raised his children and where he and his family gathered throughout the years to celebrate countless birthdays and holidays, with the exception of last Christmas.

"This is the only Christmas we weren't here," Adderly's daughter, Lorraine Williams, said.  

Williams said the family moved in when she was 4 years old.  

When Hurricane Irma hit in September, Adderly was forced to evacuate to his daughter's house to ride out the storm. When the storm passed and he returned home, the family discovered the neighbor's tree had been toppled by Ima's winds.  

The large tree fell onto Adderly's roof. Branches and limbs breached his bedroom ceiling, wall and window, sending rainwater pouring inside.

Since then, Adderly has been living with his daughter.

"He's 90 years old," Williams said. "This is the only house he knows. This is his neighborhood. This is his everything, really."

In the weeks and days that followed, the family cleaned out what they could, discarding everything mildewed and water-damaged.

"And we started cutting," Williams said.

The family cleared as much of the tree away from the house as they could.

Adderly's home is not insured; otherwise, he could have filed a claim to help cover the costs of the damage.  

"It's because your insurance protects your property," said Lynne McChristian, with the Insurance Information Institute. "There are situations, however, in which the neighbor's insurance may pay. If the tree was diseased and (the neighbor) knew it, you could still file an insurance claim under your own policy, and your insurance company would get reimbursed from their insurer -- and get your deductible back."

Williams said she spent weeks trying to get her dad's neighbor to make some moves, but didn't get far.

She said the help she received from FEMA was not enough to cover all the damage and repair the home. 

She turned to "Leave it to Layron" for help.

In September, Local 10 learned Adderly's neighbors moved to South Florida from Panama.

The homeowner, Blas Manzanares, was out of the country at the time. When reporter Layron Livingston stopped by again, in January, he was finally able to talk to him about the tree.    

"I don't want to cut something and then create (more) damage," Manzanares said.  

At the time, he had not reached out to his insurance company, but was planning to see what, if anything, his policy would cover. He also said he'd have a conversation with Adderly and his family to figure out how to move forward.

"I'm going to finish talking to them, and figure out if we're going to work together on this, and then we'll take it from there," Manzanares said. 

Three days later, Williams contacted the "Leave it to Layron" team. She was surprised to learn that her father’s neighbor finally hired a crew and the tree was off the house. She said she doesn't think that would have happened had she not contacted the "Leave it to Layron" team.

"At least we can start making some kind of progress," she said. 

Now comes the hard part: making sure the foundation is not compromised, repairing the wall and the roof.

The "Leave it to Layron" team has contacted a number of construction companies and organizations.

One of those organizations sent an inspector to Adderly's home, and that inspector is in the process of determining what help the organization can provide.  

Adderly is optimistic he'll get to go home again.

"I've got to wish and dream," he said.

If you have a problem or issue that needs to be solved, CLICK HERE to “Leave it to Layron."

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