Saguaro cactus crashes through home. (Source: Jadiann Thompson, cbs5az.com)
It busted right through the window. (Source: Jadiann Thompson, cbs5az.com)
A helpful neighbor used his Jeep to pull the cactus away. (Source: Jadiann Thompson, cbs5az.com)
CHANDLER, AZ (CBS5) -
An intruder busted into a Chandler couple's home Friday afternoon, but this one was more than 15 feet tall and had no arms.
Verna Larsen believes a microburst from the day's storms blew over a Saguaro Cactus in her front yard that busted through an office window and into the home, leaving glass all the way in another room.
Larsen said she is counting her blessings.
"I've been in an earthquake, and it's very similar. It's that 'chunk!'" she said describing the noise.
She said she thought Friday was a normal day until she saw what had happened.
"Until I got to the doorway and saw the cactus in our office," said Larsen.
Once the wind uprooted the cactus, the roof of the house sliced the top off, and the rest went crashing into the front room and barely missed the cat asleep in the office chair.
"The cactus was about here, and there is wind and rain coming in the broken window," said Larsen while standing in the office.
No one knows how much it weighs, but we measured to find out how big it was. The biggest half was more than 12 feet long, and the smaller piece was nearly 3 feet and it measured a little more than 16 inches in diameter.
Larsen said a helpful neighbor tied a rope around the cactus and pulled it out of the window with his Jeep to let them get a board over the window.
She said her husband was in the hospital when this happened and is very grateful to first responders, the landlord and friends and family for being so helpful.
"The kindness and the quick response and everyone doing what is right," said Larsen.
Now she may look for some recipes to see if she can make sure the cactus doesn't go to waste.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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