Crews burning down home dangling on cliff

HILL COUNTY — It's a jaw-dropping cliffhanger that may be resolved Friday, weather permitting.

"Like any cliffhanger, I guess we're all watching and waiting, you know," said neighbor Connie Ash.

A home dangerously dangling on the edge of a cliff in a Lake Whitney subdivision is being set on fire, according to Tom Hemrick, the emergency management coordinator for Hill County.

Hemrick said the White Bluff Fire Department will be on scene to make sure surrounding homes are protected. According to Hemrick, the company in charge of the demolition is the same as the one that was in charge of the Texas Stadium implosion.

Hemrick said the fire will start in the attic; the hope is then the house burns inwards.

Earlier Thursday, officials looked into whether the home could be pulled back by cables onto stable ground; it turned out not to be a viable option.

Appraised at more than $700,000, the home was built in 2008 and was bought by the current homeowners in 2012.

According to homeowner Rob Webb, who is now in Florida dealing with a personal issue, the home was inspected before it was purchased.

"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 said. "Yeah, it's a trying time, certainly."

Webb also said he and his wife purchased home insurance, but they just found out it doesn't cover earth movement. It is unclear how much the demolition will cost, but Webb is picking up the bill.

The homeowner said he spent his retirement savings on the home and is devastated.

The Hill County Sheriff's Office will be providing security around the fire, and local fire departments will stand watch to ensure everything goes safely.


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