Boulder crashes into Poway home: Hazardous materials team responds

Incident reported in the 13000 block of Vian Road

POWAY, Calif. - A large rock crashed into a Poway home Thursday as rain pounded parts of San Diego County.

The large rock rolled into the garage of a house located in the 13000 block of Vian Road, authorities said.

Resident Ja'Nielle Gendelman heard a crash, but had no idea what it was.

"I opened the back kitchen door and I saw that the patio had fallen down and I turned to the right and I saw trees and the back fencing," she told 10News.

When she opened her garage door, she was stunned, as a huge boulder rested on the concrete, and there was a gaping hole in the side of the garage that faces the hillside.

The boulder had come loose during Thursday's storm and rolled the length of a football field down the hill, narrowly missing a propane tank before slamming into the home where Gendleman has lived for more than half a decade.

"I'm thankful to God that I didn't happen to go in the garage," said the grandmother, who was alone inside the house with her dog.

Gendleman called 911, and when firefighters responded they called out a hazardous materials team to deal with all the chemicals stored in her garage, including gasoline, pesticides and other items that mixed to cause a nasty, potentially toxic smell.

Neighbors rushed to Gendleman's house to make sure she was OK.

"I was shocked. I couldn't believe it happened," said Deanna McGough, who added the boulder could have taken a different path and hit her house.

"It's just part of nature and you hope it doesn't happen, but unfortunately it did today," said McGough. "It is a little scary, though."    

Gendleman told 10News this is the second time a boulder has come loose from the hillside above the home she grew up in. In the 1970s, a smaller boulder damaged a fence surrounding one of the horse corrals.

Ironically, much of what was damaged this time were boxes of supplies Gendleman stockpiles in case of an earthquake or other natural disaster.

She never figured the disaster would be caused by an 8-ton boulder more than 5-feet in diameter.

Gendleman said she also never figured her insurance company would tell her the damage may not be covered. With tears in her eyes she looked at the destruction and said, "That really upset me. That's the worst."

Gendleman has no idea how she'll remove the boulder.

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