Owners to burn house teetering on Texas cliff

Posted: June 13, 2014 - 1:32pm


In this image taken from video provided June 12, 2014, by WFAA.Com, a luxury house teeters on a cliff about 75 feet above Lake Whitney in Whitney, Texas. The owner of a vacant luxury house teetering on a crumbling 75-foot cliff over a Central Texas lake has decided to burn the house and clear the lot of the debris. (AP Photo/WFAA.Com)

WHITNEY, Texas (AP) — Fire crews have begun burning a luxury house that's teetering atop a crumbling 75-foot cliff over a Central Texas lake.

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 homeowners have consented to Friday's demolition about 60 miles south of Fort Worth.

The house has been condemned and the owners evacuated the property about two weeks ago. Chunks of the cliff — and the $700,000 home — have been tumbling into the water.

Tom Hemrick, Hill County's emergency management coordinator, says the owners will have the charred debris moved to stable land and crews will remove the slab.

The residence was built in 2007. Its current owners, Robert and Denise Webb, purchased the house in 2012 with the assurance the property was stable, they said.

The Webbs, who also have a home along Florida's Miami Beach, on Thursday told WTSP-TV that it's hard to watch.

Robert Webb says geologists and inspectors, before the purchase, told them the property was perfectly stable.