Tree troubles pit South Memphis woman against City and MLGW

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MEMPHIS, Tenn.  -- Anita Rockett's backyard was in shambles.

"It's been like this since July 3, 2014," said Rockett.

A tree in the alley behind her house fell across utility lines and caught fire last summer.

After fire crews put it out, MLGW hired a contractor to get the tree off utility lines.

Instead of taking the tree away, Ms Rockett said the tree contractors dumped the debris in her back yard and left.

"I couldn't say don't do that to my back yard. It was too late, they already did it. Destroyed my property. My fence is down," said Rockett.

She tried to get the city to clean up the mess since the tree was in the city-owned alley.

"I think they should hold up to their responsibility. This alley is not mine," she said.

The city sent her a letter that said they were not liable and for her to contact MLGW.

No luck there either.

MLGW said there was no indication their tree contractor caused this damage.

"They said they would investigate. They did investigate. I am back to zero. Nothing happened," said Rockett.

Rockett, on a fixed income, was at a loss.

She called WREG.

We began asking questions and sending photos of the mess to the city and MLGW.

Memphis Public Works took another look and said the tree falling appeared to have been an act of Nature.

The law says where the tree lands, it's that property owner's responsibility to remove, but as a matter of compassion, not fault, Public Works would remove the tree next week, but it won't replace the fence.

MLGW told us their tree trimmers didn't damage the fence, it was an Act of God so they didn't clean it up and left everything.

MLGW's President said "It would be an inappropriate use of public funds to intervene."

"This is not mine. I can't get this up," said Rocket.

The Public Works Department said it should be able to get the tree removed next week.

As for repairing the fence, Rockett was still hoping the City or MLGW would step up and finish the job.