A tiki statue in the right place and time saved four people from harm at the VenTiki Lounge when a giant, 150-foot palm tree suddenly crashed through the roof of the bar in Ventura, California.
Three guests and one of the restaurant’s chefs were seated by a fire pit near the tree’s path when a powerful gust of wind knocked it into the restaurant, breaking the tree in half. A well-placed tiki statue, however, stopped the palm tree from falling on a group of people.
“That's what saved the four people sitting there on the benches [near the fire pit],” restaurant owner Duane Couch told NBC Los Angeles of the shielding statue. “It was absolutely miraculous that everyone just happened to not be in the path of the tree.”
On Twitter, VenTiki Lounge announced that the restaurant will be temporarily closed “due to unforeseen palm tree activities,” while damage done to the roof, patio, and awning are repaired.
— VenTiki Lounge (@Ventiki) February 1, 2016
Meanwhile, VenTiki’s co-owner, Tonya Couch, has plans to conduct an honorific ritual to thank the tiki statue for its services. “The tiki gods were with us,” she said.