Crane that crashed through North Smithfield home had faulty hydraulics


NORTH SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) — The owner of a tree removal company said the crane that crashed into a North Smithfield home was inspected by the company he bought it from just weeks prior to the incident.

On Monday, Mike’s Professional Tree Service was removing trees from the backyard of a home on Pound Hill Road when the crane tipped over and crashed through the roof.

The company’s owner, Mike Baird, said the crane’s hydraulics failed. He said the hydraulics were set to be replaced.

Baird said he bought the crane from Altec Services in Shrewsbury three weeks ago. He said Altec agreed the hydraulics needed to be replaced, but told him it was fine to use the crane in the meantime.

Eyewitness News reached out to Altec, but have yet to hear back.

Homeowner Jack Fandetti said he was with his wife inside their family room when the crane came crashing down.

“As a matter of fact, I was only like eight feet away from where it happened,” Fandetti said. “Suddenly, the crane came through our window.”

Baird said his employees did everything right and Fandetti said he has never had a problem with the company.

“He’s always done great things for me,” Fandetti said. “He’s taken a few trees down in the front of our house. He’s always been wonderful.”

Eyewitness News looked into Mike’s Professional Tree Service and found that the Attorney General Consumer Protection Unit has received several complaints within the past several years, but they’ve all been resolved.

The Better Business Bureau gave the tree service an “F” rating, but Baird claims that’s because he doesn’t pay for accreditation.

Baird said he rented a new crane and finished the job at Fandetti’s home Tuesday morning. He said the crane that tipped over is now back at Altec and is being inspected. He said he is insured and everything will get straightened out.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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