LOCAL NEWS

Owner of one of two Draper homes that slid never expected it would really happen

Apr 24, 2023, 5:59 PM | Updated: 6:21 pm

DRAPER, Utah — An owner of one of the two homes that slid into a ravine over the weekend in Draper spoke with KSL TV about the traumatic event.

Colin Kimble didn’t feel comfortable going back to his old neighborhood in Hidden in Canyon Estates Monday, so we spoke with him elsewhere.

“Super scary, and you see my 14-year-old son, his room laying on the canyon floor, and that’s scary,” he said. 

That’s what went through Kimble’s head over the weekend as his home slid into the ravine behind Springtime Road, along with his neighbor’s home.  

Draper homes evacuated after two houses collapse, slide down hillside

Both homeowners had been out of their homes since October. That’s when Draper told them they had to leave. 

“I wanted to stay,” Kimble said. “My wife did not. Our builder thought that the home was safe.“

So, the couple and their five children moved out, but he never thought his home would slide into the ravine.

“Never did until Friday night,” he said. 

In January, Edge Homes and Kimble came to a financial agreement and settled. He signed a non-disparagement agreement. 

When he saw the video of his home going over the edge Saturday, he was filled with emotion. 

“I never thought it would fall,” Kimble said. “So, there’s an odd closure that comes with it falling that like… the city made the right decision and we’re all safe and that’s the thing at the end.“

 

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He counts his family lucky and feels sadness from putting so much time and energy into their dreams, and now that’s gone. But the families that they befriended in that neighborhood are still going through this traumatic episode.

“The families that we made friends with are being removed and that’s the hard part,” he said. 

Kimble’s family is stabilizing in a new home in a different neighborhood, but he still wants to support his old community.

“You lose the community, so you constantly have to rebuild that when you move,” he said. 

Kimble was going to a community meeting Monday evening with the home builder to support his former neighbors. He hopes this is a learning experience for everybody, including his family.

On Monday, Edge Homes released a lengthy statement about the incident, which reads in full:

The events of last Friday night and early Saturday morning were shocking. As a company, we have never experienced such devastating events with our homes. More than anything else, we are incredibly grateful that no one was injured.

With the failure of the retaining wall and hillside slope, we want to address the question on everyone’s mind: how did this happen? The engineering and construction firms that designed and constructed the retaining walls are long-standing companies with proven track records and years of combined experience. The design of the retaining walls underwent a thorough review process with Draper City, with frequent inspections and quality checks throughout construction. Yet, despite all the engineering and quality control efforts, the wall and hillside experienced a complete failure. Was this a design failure by the engineers? Was this a construction failure by the excavators and retaining wall companies? Was this a combination of both, or neither? We simply cannot answer these questions today. More analysis and data are necessary, but we are committed to finding the underlying cause of the problems to ensure they do not happen again.

We do know that stability issues and structural concerns with these two (2) homes existed even before this past winter began, with its record snowpack and deep soil saturation. These winter conditions amplified the problems and prevented us from stabilizing the homes. We had hoped to perform a controlled demolition of the two homes in the near future, but that is no longer possible. The remediation, hillside stabilization, and beautification will now be our focus. We will see this situation through to the end in order to protect our homeowners, their families, and the community.

Last October, when Draper City unilaterally revoked the occupancy permits for these two (2) homes and forced the owners to move out, we initially disagreed with that decision because the data at that time indicated that the recently-installed piers had stopped movement of the homes. As we continued to monitor the situation and collect additional data, however, it became evident in December 2022 that the homes were continuing to move and that evacuation of the homeowners was the correct decision.

At this point, our top priority is to take care of the homeowners who are directly affected by the slide. In January, we bought back one of these homes and paid the owners for various additional expenses relating to their relocation. We expect to achieve a similar, mutually-acceptable resolution with the owners of the other home in the near future.

We are also in contact with the owners of the homes on each side of the slide area who have evacuated their homes out of an abundance of caution. We are paying their relocation, storage, and temporary housing expenses. We will fairly compensate them for the disruption and inconvenience they are experiencing. Regardless of who is at fault, it is our company policy to stand by our homeowners and not leave them stranded.

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Owner of one of two Draper homes that slid never expected it would really happen