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A Cliffhanger: How Twitter And TV Watched The Lake Whitney Mansion Teeter And Burn

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Ron Jenkins/Fort Worth Star-Telegram
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The house on a cliff over Lake Whitney was intentionally set on fire Friday.

On Friday, the Lake Whitney house teetering on a cliff was intentionally set on fire. Here’s a Twitter's-eye view of a story that’s generated headlines across the country.

1.       Once upon a time, there was a beautiful house on a cliff with gorgeous views of Lake Whitney in Central Texas.

2.       But then part of the cliff started to crumble into the lake. And then pieces of the house started to fall into the lake.

3.      But instead of waiting for the entire house to fall into the lake, authorities came up with another plan: Set it on fire. Removing all of the debris from the lake would be too costly. The owner, Rob Webb, told WFAA-TV that he has home insurance, but it doesn’t cover earth movement. Webb will be paying for the demolition. But then, on Friday morning, there was a delay.

4.       People got restless.

5.       The fire was finally set. And … action:

6.       Helicopters hovered overhead. TV stations covered it live.

7.       Neighbors gathered to watch the scene.

8.       People from across the country gawked at it on TV and online. They wondered why they were staring at the blaze. But they couldn’t stop.

9.       They got excited.

10.   The jokes came flooding in …

11.   The fire went out. The house burned down. The end.

12. But it's not really the end. The teetering house on a cliff that was set on fire will live on -- thanks to animated gifs ... and Instagram videos ... 

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Credit Dianna McDougall / Twitter/@DiannaMcD
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Twitter/@DiannaMcD
Click on the gif of the Lake Whitney house fire.

Cover photo: Ron Jenkins/Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Eric Aasen is KERA’s managing editor. He helps lead the station's news department, including radio and digital reporters, producers and newscasters. He also oversees keranews.org, the station’s news website, and manages the station's digital news projects. He reports and writes stories for the website and contributes pieces to KERA radio. He's discussed breaking news live on various public radio programs, including The Takeaway, Here & Now and Texas Standard, as well as radio and TV programs in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.