HOUSEHOLDERS had a narrow escape when a 45ft tree came crashing down just feet from their Southampton homes.

The tree smashed through two fences and destroyed a garden shed when it fell across three gardens in Maybush.

Grandmother-of one Janet Kiddler, 79, was in the kitchen when the eucalyptus tree came smashing through her fence.

But the damage was even greater in neighbour Eileen Bell’s garden, where the tree went through her shed when it came down in a storm on Christmas Day.

Mrs Kiddler said: “I was lucky that I wasn’t in the garden.

“When I turned round and saw the tree and the fence I was just shaking.

“It’s the worst Christmas present I have ever had.”

Grandmother Mrs Bell, 74, added: “I just screamed when I saw the damage.

I was away in London and to go home to that is horrible.

“I was lucky that I wasn’t there.”

The tree was due to be removed today.