A tree fell on a charity home established by television personality Leeza Gibbons during a Sunday night thunderstorm that carried gusty winds through the Irmo area.
The fallen oak caused heavy damage to the roof of the white, neatly kept home at 201 St. Andrews Road in Irmo, according to a Facebook post from Leeza’s Care Connection and the Irmo Fire District.
No one was injured when the tree fell, said the fire district officials, who responded to a call at about 7:15 p.m. Sunday.
Leeza’s Care Connection will suspend operations temporarily because of the damage, but “we’ll be back stronger than ever,” the Facebook post said.
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Gibbons established the home several years ago as a place for the caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients to stay. Leeza’s Care Connection offers free services for people coping with the stress of any chronic or terminal disease that a relative or friend is suffering.
“Mother Nature had her way, but we’re OK!” the Leeza’s Care Facebook post said. “It’s quite a sight-that big oak tree uprooted and slammed right on the roof at our Leeza’s Care Connection in SC. Luckily, no one was inside at the time and our Irmo firefighters, volunteers, friends and neighbors all came running to help. Thank you for all the calls, prayers and support. We are so blessed!”
Gibbons, who is from Irmo, established the home in the former residence of Michael Mungo, a well-known Columbia real estate developer who died several years ago. Gibbons is a producer, actress and former television news reporter known for her appearances on The Apprentice and Entertainment tonight.
An Irmo Fire District incident report said firefighters had the water, power and gas utilities to the home turned off after the incident occurred.
The Irmo area was among communities in the Midlands that felt high winds and heavy rains Sunday night as a thunderstorm passed though. A number of trees and branches were knocked down and power was out temporarily in some areas.