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Town In Shock After Tree Topples Onto Home

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ARNOLD, Calif. (CBS/AP) — Authorities in Northern California say a 100-foot-tall tree fell onto a house and killed an 8-year-old girl who was sleeping inside.

The incident in the town of Arnold shortly before 6:30 a.m. on Sunday. Eight-year-old Haley Verzani was sleeping in her bed when the tree came down.

Fire officials say the storm-weakened fir tree that was 2 to 3 feet in diameter toppled after being uprooted by a nearby creek.

“Sad, sad really sad for the family to go throw this. I’m sure they lived here a long time,” said Mike Dalpoggetto, a neighbor.

Haley’s classmates heard the news today.

“It kind of made me sad. I didn’t really cry, because that could happen to anyone could happen to me or my other fiends,” said Kiera Nolan, a fourth grader.

Students say the principal sent a note home urging parents to help youngsters cope with the loss.

Haley’s family hasn’t been back inside since the tree fell because it’s been deemed too dangerous to enter.

Ebbetts Pass Battalion Chief Ron Getter says firefighters took 20 minutes to get to the scene because they had to maneuver through 6 inches of unplowed snow that fell over the weekend.

Community members are collecting money to pay for Haley’s funeral.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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