A house that was perched precariously on a cliff was set on fire by crews in Texas this week. The luxury home had already begun to slip into Lake Whitney, and engineers determined that it was too hazardous to attempt to remove the home with heavy equipment. Debris falling into the lake would also be nearly impossible to locate and remove.
A June 13 report from The Associated Press, as carried by MSN News said: “Authorities say destroying the 4,000-square-foot house by fire is better than waiting for it to topple into Lake Whitney. The cost of removing mounds of debris from the lake could prove prohibitive.”
The property, located about 60 miles south of Fort Worth, was condemned and the residents were forced to evacuate their $700,000 dream home, built in 2007, after chucks of the mansion began to plummet into the lake. The owner of the home consented to the demolition by fire.
Raw video obtained from The Associated Press, seen above, shows large sections of the home being consumed by the blaze and falling into the lake.
The homeowner, Robert Webb, said he purchased the home less than two years ago, in 2012, and was assured that the stability of the home was sound, even though it was built directly on the edge of a 75-foor limestone cliff. Webb and his family vacated a few weeks ago after they started noticing significant cracks in the foundation. Shortly after that, the back deck and other parts of the house started to break apart and fall into the lake.
Incredibly, while the home is insured, the plan does not cover “ground movement.” Webb also has to foot the bill for the county cleanup and demolition crews.
“What a tragic scene that's playing out here, slowly playing out for us,” said Chief Deputy Mark Wilson with the Hill County Sheriff's Office. “I did talk to the son a couple of days ago. You're right. They're just heartbroken because it was a beautiful home, beautiful location and nobody ever expected anything like this to happen.”
Wilson added that other homes could suffer the same fate as the limestone cliff continues to erode.