A massive house built on a cliffside overlooking Lake Whitney, which is about 80 miles south of Dallas, was collapsing as the cliffside fell away beneath it.
To keep any additional debris from falling into the lake, authorities set the house on fire on Friday in an effort to demolish the house. Another option considered was using a big net to drag the house to safety. That option was apparently too crazy of a solution.
The house, which is valued at somewhere between $700,000 and $800,000, is a second home owned by a family from Florida. According to reports, the owner of the house, Rob Webb, is in Florida currently dealing with a “personal issue.”
He told a Dallas TV station that the house was inspected before it was purchased but that their homeowner’s insurance will not cover the damage because it is the result of earth movement. Consequently, Webb is responsible for the demolition costs.
“It’s like, ’Is that really my home? Or is that something else that you’re watching on TV.’ And then you’re like, “Good grief, that is my home,’" Webb told WFAA in Dallas. "Yeah, it’s a trying time, certainly.”
Tom Hemrick, the emergency management coordinator for Hill County, said that the fire was to be started in the home’s attic and the hope is that the home burns inwards.
The picture above shows what the house looked like before the fire started.
The fire was supposed to begin at 10 a.m. central time, but authorities continued to prepare the house for demolition for several hours.
The fire was actually started in the home's garage. Authorities filled the garage with bales of hay, dosed the hay with what appeared to be gasoline and then started the fire.
At first, the fire burned slowly, before eventually engulfing the entire house. The picture below shows the fire as it rages in the home's second story. Click the image for a larger view.
As the fire burned, flaming debris fell down into the lake below. Click the image below for a larger view.
That separate fire burned for nearly an hour as well. Click the image below for a larger view.
Eventually, nearly all of the home's second story was gone. Click the image below for a larger view.
Once the fire burned itself out, well over two hours since the fire began, all that was left of the home was a pile of smoldering rubble and the wall that had once supported the home's front door. A sad end to a sad story.
Click the image below for a larger view.