By Web Staff
FAIRFAX, California (KPIX) — Investigators were trying to unravel why a home undergoing a construction project nestled on a Fairfax hillside collapsed earlier this week into a massive pile of broken wood, twisted appliances and smashed sliding.
Neighbors were awoken by thunderous collapse in the 100 block of Pine Drive around 3:48 a.m. Tuesday.
Ross Valley Fire Department Battalion Chief Gavin Illingworth told the Marin Independent Journal that home was unoccupied at the time of collapse.
A spring storm had swept through the Bay Area prior to the collapse, dumping more than an inch of rain.
Illingworth told the newspaper that a retaining wall above the structure and below the road failed and may have led to the collapse. A preliminary investigation indicated that the significant rain caused the soaked soil to loosen the hillside under the retaining wall.
Public Works Manager Mark Lockaby said the collapse and slide had comprised the integrity of Pine Drive, which has been coned off and shut down.
“It looks like the edge of the road has failed and the house has collapsed,” he said. “We don’t see a lot of water (from the rain), but the water probably had an impact. It looks like there was some excavation on the site. It looks like the cause of the collapse was due to the excavation.”
Lockaby said three nearby homeowners will not be able to access their residences by vehicle until the road is fixed.
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