New homeowners' house crushed by tree as wild weather hits New Jersey

MIDDLETOWN, New Jersey (WABC) -- A fast moving storm triggered a tornado warning for part of New Jersey Wednesday morning, knocking out power and downing trees, including a huge tree that crushed a newly purchased home in Middletown.

Authorities say the residents moved in just two days ago, a U-Haul truck still parked in the driveway, and that the home was filled with boxes of possessions damaged by water after the tree punched a hole in the roof.

"There are boxes all in there," firefighter Dennis Fowler said. "The fire department just helped and emptied everything from the damaged side to the good side to protect his belongings as best we could."

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Two homes suffered severe damage in the storm, one on Hickory and one on Green Grove, both in the Lincroft section.

Luckily, no injuries were reported.

"That's all that matters, honestly," Fowler said. "I believe the gentleman said he heard the warning just as the tree hit."

The storm developed quickly, carving a potentially historic path of destruction.

"In 45 years, yes ma'am," Fowler said, when asked if the damage was some of the worst he'd ever seen. "This is even more impressive than parts of (Superstorm) Sandy for this area."

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There are approximately 9,000 without power, and crews were working to restore service.

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