Boulder slams into Glenwood home | VailDaily.com
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Boulder slams into Glenwood home

Jeremy Heiman
Post Independent Photo/Kelley Cox Ralph Pretti, contractor and friend to homeowner Ron Dickman, was one of the first to lend a helping hand after several gigantic boulders slammed into the home on Hager Lane Tuesday morning.
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Two Glenwood Springs residents experienced a rude awakening very early Tuesday morning.

Hager Lane homeowner Ron Dickman and his renter, Jimmy Farris, were jolted awake when a seven-foot boulder estimated to weigh seven or eight tons tore through their house at 1:30 a.m. Neither Dickman nor Farris was injured, but damage to the house is extensive.

The boulder smashed through the west wall of a room on the ground floor of the house, leaving a 6-by-10-foot hole. It ripped through the house on a diagonal, splintering off about one-third of a ground-floor bathroom, caving in floors and tearing out a stairway.

The rock came to rest in the middle of the living room sunk slightly into the floor pinning a twisted recliner chair against a wall.

Another boulder, this one about six feet long and four feet wide, came to rest in the southwest room, which is Dickman’s office.

“It sounded like an explosion,” Dickman said. “Stuff was flying everywhere.” Glass broke, furniture fell and wallboard disintegrated. It took Dickman a moment to realize what happened, he said.

It was quiet by the time he got to his bedroom door. The air was filled with dust, and there was a huge boulder in the living room. Dickman yelled to Farris to find out whether he was hurt. His aging dog, who sleeps in the living room, was unhurt as well.

“She’s so arthritic it usually takes her about three minutes to get up,” Dickman said.

Dickman contacted an insurance adjuster early in the morning, and received bad news. He was informed that his homeowner’s insurance policy doesn’t cover any of the damage. And city building officials determined the house is not safe to live in and ordered Dickman and his tenant to move out until the damages are repaired.

Outside, there’s more mayhem. The boulders in the house were among several that broke loose from an outcrop 1,000 feet above and rolled through the Hager Lane neighborhood at the same time.

The boulder that came into the house left a three-foot-wide, 18-inch-deep gouge in the backyard, leaving a scar of red earth in the green grass. In an empty lot to the south is an even bigger crater, where a huge boulder bounced and broke up.

“It’s just like a meteor hit there,” Farris said.

The explosion threw a 20-foot-long tongue of dirt into Dickman’s yard, packing soil inches thick and chest-high on a tree trunk.

“We were digging the dirt off this tree, and there were earthworms in it,” Farris said. A wooden picnic table nearby was reduced to kindling.

An 11-inch rock perhaps two inches thick pierced the asphalt shingles on Dickman’s roof and remained stuck like an arrowhead in the plywood roof sheeting.

Dickman said he’s just taking the event as a lesson in life, and he’s extremely happy with the sympathy and help he’s received from his friends and neighbors.

“My neighbors have been great, coming over to offer help and everything,” Dickman said. People have offered him food, tools, and free labor. “It renews my faith in humanity,” he said.

Post Independent staff writer Greg Masse contributed to this report.


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