UPDATE: Central Texas home dangling above lake burned - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |


UPDATE: Central Texas home dangling above lake burned

WHITNEY, TX (KXXV) - The $700,000 home hanging off a cliff and over Lake Whitney was burned down Friday morning. The burning process helped reduce the amount of debris that could get into the lake. The homeowners and demolition officials agreed to burn down the luxury home before it crumbled into the lake.

Crews put several bales of hay into the home before dousing them with diesel fuel. The hay was then lit on fire just before noon, and the home began to burn. Light smoke could be seen coming from the front of the house, until the flames quickly spread towards the back of the home. About twenty minutes into the burn, flames could be seen shooting out of the roof, and then a large portion of the back of the home came tumbling down the cliff.

Fortunately the rest of the mansion didn't fall into the lake like many lake officials feared.

"You don't see something like this happen around much," Whitney resident Linda Sexton said.

"We are just beside ourselves because we have been coming here for years and everybody has fished underneath that," Whitney resident Vickey Piercy said.

Piercy and her neighbors have been coming out to their lake-side beach spot every day for the past week. Wanting to take a peek at the house and wondering if it would fall in the water.

"After a couple of days stuff started falling off of it and it kind of settled back a little bit so we didn't know what was going to happen but we were going to be here to watch whatever was going to go on," Piercy said.

A two hour delay did thin out the onlookers a bit, but for those who stayed Friday's burning was worth the wait.

"It did take a while, you know the excitement of watching it hit the water. You know it is somebody's home, it's sad. it is not something you see everyday it is interesting," Sexton said.

"It is really sad for the people who live there," Piercy said. "Mother nature does what she does."

The home still had a few hot spots that need to be put out. County officials say that when the home is extinguished the clean up will begin.

The edge of the 4,000 square foot home was balanced over Lake Whitney after part of the cliff below it already broken off into the water. Soil and other debris could be seen falling from the foundation of the home. Aerial images also showed a massive void under the center of the home.

A small sign reading "extreme danger, stay off premises," was put in the front yard. The home is registered to a couple from Aubrey, which is in North Texas.
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