Famed 'landslide house' lost in Eagle Creek Fire

Fire destroys historic 'Landslide House'

DODSON, Ore. -- It was swept up in the massive 1996 landslide, but couldn't withstand the flames of the Eagle Creek Fire.

Now, the very thing that made the so-called "landslide house" famous threatens the area once again.

There are fears the damage from the fire combined with rain could mean another major landslide is on the way.

Few in the area will forget what happened Feb. 8, 1996. A wall of mud, rocks and debris comes crashing through the Dodson home of Carol and Hersh Royse. The two were able to get out just in time, but their home was half buried.

It would stay that way for the next 21 years, until the Eagle Creek Fire.

"It looked like North Korea landed a missile over there. It just blew up," said Joe Nolin, Carol and Hersh's son-in-law.

Nolin showed KGW what was left of the old house. The wildfire swept through it, leveling the structure. Only the chimney was recognizable. Everything else had been charred by the flames.

Nolin says his fear now is another major landslide. Carol lives in a home right next to her former one.

The fire made the nearby gorge slopes much more susceptible to sliding. And with rain in the forecast, the family is worried history could repeat itself.

"We watch the weather forecast. We have a rain gage," said Nolin.

This week a team of scientists including geologists, botanists and hydrologists are in the gorge assessing the slide risk.

They will look at the damage and then come up with a plan to manage that risk.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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