Palm Tree Falls, Traps Woman in House

Strong winds knocked a palm tree onto a house in Boyle Heights early Wednesday, inujuring two women, one of whom was trapped inside for more than an hour.

Firefighters responding to the 200 block of North Soto Street at 2:54 a.m. found a 56-year-old woman who appeared to have been struck in the head by falling sections of drywall. Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Melissa Kelley said the woman suffered minor injuries but was taken to a hospital for observation.

In another area of the home, firefighters discovered a 29-year-old woman who was trapped in her bedroom "by the enormous crown portion of the palm tree," Kelley said.

The victim was conscious and talking to firefighters, who used specialized equipment and training to knockdown a portion of the wall to free her legs.

The extrication was completed more than an hour later in an operation involving at least 35 firefighters, including members of the department's Urban Search and Rescue Team, Kelley said.

The woman was treated at the scene for minor injuries, then taken to a hospital.

A firefighter suffered a minor injury to his hand, but it did not require hospital treatment, Kelley said.

Personnel from the Department of Building and Safety was summoned to the scene to assess the damage to the residence, she said. 

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